Trying to copy/paste text on your Android device can be a hassle. Most times the text isn’t even able to be selected, leaving you with no options. Who hasn’t gotten a URL via chat client that doesn’t allow links or copying text? Things of this nature happen frequently, and that’s what makes Copy Text a special application.
Copy Text allows you to copy any text on your screen, regardless of its nature. It could be text on your browser or a widget. This app will copy the text to your clipboard and let you paste it elsewhere. We’ve tested the app, and it does seem to work as it should. We even tried it on images with writing. The results weren’t great, but the developer is upfront about it. It seems a very high quality image should work, though.
While this is a very convenient app, it’s not perfect. Sometimes it does make mistakes. One we noticed is shown in the developer’s video, as well. When there’s a double lower case “L,” the app tends to replace the second “L” with an exclamation mark (!).
The settings are user-friendly, as much so as an app of this nature can be. If the text is not being copied correctly, simply increase the delay a few more seconds. That should improve things at least a bit. You can also get rid of the notification and set the copying box to show upon shaking the device. There’s also a network option that seems to make the service better. (Maybe by using one of Google’s services?)
There is one downside to this solution, though. The installation and first-time setup are a bit inconvenient. This app does not require root, and it can be installed in any device (except Honeycomb tablets). But it does require downloading a program onto your Windows or Mac computer. After getting the .zip file from the developer’s site, you have to follow a process that requires a couple reboots and plugging your device in to your computer.
We know the installation hassle may dissuade many of you, but it’s part of the reason why this app works the way it does. It may be a bit hard to understand for many of us, so we’ve asked the developer. The process involved is something like this:
Copy Text works by first taking a screenshot of your screen, then running an OCR engine (optical character recognition) on the section of the screen that you would like copied. As you know, screenshots are not easy to do on an unrooted Android phone. The only way screenshots can be taken on unrooted phones is through adb. The desktop application essentially enables your phone to take screenshots in the same manner.Edward KimCopy Text Developer
This is a great service, and it looks very promising. But the fact that it includes a non-market installation can always include a bit of risk. Though we trust Edward Kim as a developer (Car Locator), other individuals could take advantage of the situation. This app may open a port in your device, which could be used by others to create an app and get access to it (with malicious intents).
If you’d like to try it out, go ahead and purchase it from the Android Market for $5.99. The price is a bit high, but it can be a very convenient app if you take advantage of it. There might be issues with the 15-minute refund window, though. It will definitely take you more than 15 minutes to take care of the first-time setup.
What do you guys think? Is this app worth $5.99? Too much of a hassle? Developers, do you think this app could be dangerous for our devices? Let us know what you think. And if you download the app, tell us how well it works for you.