Copy Text From Web Pages And E-Mail With Android 2.2

A frustration that I have had with Android is the inability to copy and paste text. The most common places where I want to select text is on web pages and e-mail, but I would also like to select text in Evernote. Android 2.2 does not provide a way to select text in Evernote (though you can copy all text of a note), but it does provide a way to select text on web pages and in e-mail. To select text in the browser or Gmail applications tap Menu, More, Select Text. Next, slide your finger over the text that you want to select and as you do a pink highlight appears over the selected text. When you lift up your finger the text is copied to the clipboard. You can paste text into text fields of most applications, such as Evernote. To paste the text that you selected, tap and hold on the text field to display a pop-up menu and then tap Paste.

I don’t know why Android requires selecting so many menu options to switch to Select Text mode, but I suspect Google fears that a tap and hold function might cause problems with Apple’s patents. I am not entirely sure that is a valid concern, though, because Android does have a variety of instances where you tap and hold to display a pop-up menu, and I would think that tapping and holding on the screen to pop-up a menu with a Select Text option would be sufficiently different than the iPhone OS’s copy and paste method. Hopefully in a future release of Android the process will be easier to initiate and universal across all applications.