Yoink for iPad and iPhone v2.3.5 introduced Background Clipboard Monitoring, which, if enabled, stores anything you copy, even if Yoink itself is in the background, effectively giving you a clipboard history.
With version 2.4, I’ve improved it by adding the ability to only monitor for specific data types, and to temporarily pause the monitor.
Background Clipboard Monitoring in Action on iOS 15 and iPadOS 15
For demonstrative purposes, I kept Yoink in the foreground as a Slide-Over app, just to show what gets added when. But all of this works even if Yoink is not visible on your display and put in the background.
In the video above, I enable Yoink’s clipboard monitor and consecutively copy an image, a link, and some text; all get stored in Yoink. I then use the Picture-in-Picture’s fast forward button to tell Yoink to only watch for text. With that option set, I again copy an image, a link, and some text; this time only the text is stored in Yoink. I click the fast forward button again to make Yoink only save links, and repeat the copy-procedure of an image, a link, and some text; now, only the link gets stored in Yoink. A final time I click the fast forward button to have Yoink only watch for images and – you guessed it – when I copy an image, a link and some text, only the image is added to Yoink.
Next, I pause the clipboard monitor by using Picture-in-Picture’s Pause button. Now, Yoink does not react to any copy events at all. By pressing the Play button in PiP, I reactivate the clipboard monitor.
Notes on the monitor’s behavior
The clipboard monitor attempts to ignore sensitive data, like passwords. For this, it refers to the pasteboard data types proposed at nspasteboard.org, and checks if there are any password-type app names contained in the pasteboard data types, like “1password”, or “keychain”, for example. If encountered, Yoink ignores the copy-event and waits for the next.
As for energy consumption, it is very light-weight. The images you see in Picture-in-Picture are static – it doesn’t play video, it doesn’t play audio. Yes, Yoink will continue running in the background because of this, but all it does is check your pasteboard every couple of seconds (and not even the data directly, only a “changeCount” value provided by the API). If a change has occurred, it will save the content to Yoink and to disk. Syncing – if enabled – only occurs when the app comes back to the foreground, so there is no added network activity.
Other Changes in Yoink v2.4
– I improved Yoink’s compatibility with GarageBand. Dragging an audio file to GarageBand from Yoink now works correctly – Picture-in-Picture for arbitrary content now properly displays Map location items – I fixed a memory leak and a couple of app crashes
Pricing and Availability
Yoink is available on the iOS App Store as a one-time purchase, for $5.99 / €5.99. It is localized in English, German, Simplified Chinese, Japanese and Korean, with more languages to follow.
In the video above, you can see it in action, running on my iPad. Starting the Clipboard Monitor offers you three options: 1. a 5-minute timeout 2. a 30-minute timeout, or 3. no timeout at all.
So, were you to start clipboard monitoring with a 5-minute timeout, it would save anything you copy or cut, and automatically end after 5 minutes, if you didn’t copy or cut anything in that time. Clipboard monitoring also ends as soon as you close the Picture-in-Picture overlay.
Of course, this also works on iPhone:
So in addition to sharing content to Yoink with its Share extension, manually pasting content into the app, and Siri Shortcuts, you can now have anything you copy stored automatically in Yoink.
Notes on the monitor’s behavior
Yoink attempts to *not* save sensitive data, like passwords. It does so by referring to the pasteboard data types proposed at nspasteboard.org. It also checks if there are any common password-type app names contained in the pasteboard data types, like “1password”, or “keychain”, for example. If that’s the case, Yoink ignores the copy/cut event and waits for the next.
Regarding energy consumption, it’s very light-weight. The Picture-in-Picture content is just a static image that changes to another static image if a copy-event was detected. It doesn’t play video, it doesn’t play audio. Yes, Yoink will continue running in the background because of this, but all it does is check your pasteboard every couple of seconds (and not even the data directly, only a “changeCount” value provided by the API). If a change has occurred, it will save the content to Yoink and to disk. Syncing only occurs when the app comes back to the foreground, if enabled, so there are no round-trips to iCloud every time you copy something.
Another (already released) cool new feature in Yoink for i(Pad)OS 15
Just because I think it’s awesome, I thought I’d mention another Picture-in-Picture feature Yoink has been offering since iOS 15 was released – displaying arbitrary content in PiP. This means you can view photos, texts, PDFs, eMails, websites and more in the Picture-in-Picture overlay. Check out this video of it, where I open a website in PiP and scroll through it using its controls.