How to use the amazing new text tools in iPadOS

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Trashy novels
Not all text is equal.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

In iOS 13 and iPadOS, Apple rejigged the text-selection engine and the cut/copy/paste tools. And they’re amazing. For the last 10 years, selecting and manipulating text has been a frustrating nightmare on the iPad. Try to select a couple of words in Safari, for instance — a package delivery tracking number, for instance — and the selection would bounce back and forth between a few characters and the entire page.

It was enough to drive you back to the comfort of the Mac’s mouse pointer.

In iOS 13, though, this all changes. Text selection is accurate and predictable. And the new copy/paste gesture shortcuts become second nature almost immediately.

iPhone UI Designer Tells The Story Behind iOS Text Selection Patent

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cutandpaste(1)

This week saw the publishing of one of the iPhone’s most recognizable patents.

Arriving with iOS 3 in June 2009 was the ability to select, copy, and paste text using two draggable selection handles displayed on screen. Miles ahead of what other smartphones were offering at the time, Apple’s solution was a neat way of transferring to mobile a tool that was a key part of the personal computer user experience.

To celebrate the publishing of this historic patent, Cult of Mac spoke with one of its inventors, user interface designer Bas Ording, about the development process.

Apple Granted Patent Related To iPhone Text Selection [Patent]

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Screen_Shot_2014-02-11_at_16

It’s easy to forget just how much the iPhone changed things. Today saw the publishing of one of the iPhone’s most familiar patents — its gesture/touch-based text selection tool.

Describing a new way of selecting text using gestures on a multi-touch sensitive display screen, the patent, which was filed back in March 2008, is credited to Wayne Carl Westerman, Apple’s Multi-Touch Architect; Bas Ording, a User Interface Designer who joined Apple not long after Jobs’ return; B. Michael Victor, and Stephen O. Lemay.