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Power up your Android clipboard with these four awesome apps

Ryan Whitwam | April 5, 2016
It's time for you to have the amazing clipboard powers you never knew you needed.

There was a time, not that long ago, when copy and paste functionality was still a headlining feature on a smartphone. You were lucky to have a phone with a functional clipboard, and were even luckier if it worked worth a damn. Now it's just understood that phones will be able to copy and paste, but some things never change—it still doesn't work very well.

Android relies mostly on full-screen apps, so moving text from one place to another can be extremely tedious. At least the open and modular nature of Google's platform provides you with some cool third-party options. All it takes is a few apps to power up your Android clipboard so you can be more productive than ever before.

Native Clipboard

Most Android phones only store a single item in the clipboard, but Native Clipboard can keep everything, and gives you tools to easily manage it all. After you get Native Clipboard set up, simply double-tap in any text field and the clipboard manager appears on top of your keyboard. Each card contains a different copied item, which can be pasted with a tap.

Long-pressing on a card in Native Clipboard is how you get down to really managing your clips. From here, you can see a full preview of the text and pin it to the top of the list if it's something you think you'll need often. You can also share, edit, or delete it. On the main Native Clipboard interface there's a "clear all" button, but it won't get rid of your pinned items. Can't remember how long ago you copied something important? There's a search button too. You can even manually insert new items into the clipboard history like an impromptu note taking app.

All Android users can enable Native Clipboard as an accessibility service in settings (for the double-tap), but Xposed users can actually integrate it with the system-level copy dialog. You need Android 5.0 or higher for full functionality, but Native Clipboard is completely free.

Universal Copy

Android has included basic copy and paste functionality since time immemorial, but it's improved over the years. One remaining pain point to this day is that much of the text on your device can't actually be copied. Apps like Facebook, Instagram, and many others have only static text, but Universal Copy fixes that. Virtually any block of text can be dropped into the clipboard with this app.

To use Universal Copy, you need to enable it as an accessibility service, then flip the toggle in the app. When it's on, you have a persistent notification that, when tapped, enables all the text on your screen to be copied. Simply tap the blocks of text you want to copy—unfortunately, you don't have any finer control than that. When you've got everything you need, you can either tap the copy button at the top or launch edit mode with the pencil button.


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