clipboard

After releasing Yoink v2.3, which brought the app up-to-speed on all things iOS 15, I have another great update out for Yoink for iPad and iPhone, which allows you to make the app monitor your clipboard in the background and save almost anything you copy or cut.

Background Clipboard Monitoring

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.

Links

Yoink for iPad and iPhone Website
Yoink on the iOS App Store
Yoink for iOS Usage Tips
Yoink for iOS Press Kit (.zip download)

Yoink is also available for Mac:
Yoink for Mac Website
Yoink on the Mac App Store
Yoink for Mac Usage Tips
Yoink for Mac Press Kit (.zip download)

I hope you enjoy Yoink’s recent updates. If you have any feedback or questions, don’t hesitate to mail me, I’d love to hear it!

Stay healthy and safe!

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With iOS 14 comes a new privacy feature – a little banner at the top that shows you whenever an app accesses the clipboard.

Screenshot of iOS 14's Simulator showing the clipboard alert banner

I recently was asked in a tweet whether this was a bug. It’s not. It’s a feature 😉
But please let me explain in a little more detail what Yoink is doing here exactly.

Yoink accesses the clipboard without direct user-input in three cases:

Case 1 – Yoink’s Clipboard Bar

As you can see in the screenshot above, Yoink displays a small bar with the contents of the clipboard, allowing you to quickly store that content in Yoink (or, if it’s a URL pointing to a file, download that URL in Yoink).
To be able to display this bar, Yoink asks the clipboard whether it has new contents. It asks once when the app is put into the foreground, or regularly, in an interval whenever Yoink is used as a Side-by-Side or Slide-Over app (to be able to update the contents of the bar).

The clipboard bar comes in three settings (which can be changed in Settings.app > Yoink) :

  1. Ask
    This will make the clipboard bar appear whenever something new is on the clipboard (and will “monitor” the clipboard when the app is used as Slide-Over or Side-by-Side)
  2. Automatically store
    This turns off the clipboard bar, but will still check the clipboard for new content and automatically store it in Yoink.
  3. Never
    Turns off the clipboard bar and the auto-store feature, so the clipboard isn’t accessed

What I’m changing about this with the next update

Right now, the default setting is 1 – Always Ask for new clipboard content. This I want to keep, because I believe it to be a nice feature (and I’ve seen it used a lot).
However, I’m making it more obvious to turn it off, as you currently have to navigate into the Settings.app to change it.
So, whenever the ‘x’ button is pressed (to tell Yoink no, don’t store the clipboard’s current content right now), I’m asking the user directly if they’d like to keep the bar, turn it off, or always store new content automatically.
It’ll look something like this, after the bar has been dismissed:

Screenshot of new settings options

Case 2 – The Add from Clipboard Button

In Yoink’s top left corner sits the Add from Clipboard button. It is either active or not. To enable and disable it, Yoink queries the clipboard’s contents regularly (if it’s used in Slide-Over or Side-by-Side), and thus also causes the “clipboard accessed alert” to be shown.
It’s just a UI thing I thought would be neat, but ultimately, it’s unnecessary.

What I’m changing about this with the next update

I’ll remove the clipboard checking for this button and display an alert instead if there was nothing to be pasted on the clipboard.

Case 3 – Download a URL

Whenever you select “Download URL” from Yoink’s “+” menu, Yoink will check your pasteboard to see if you’ve copied a URL. If there is a URL, it’ll insert it automatically for you, if there isn’t, it leaves the URL field empty (and ignores the clipboard, of course).

Screenshot of Yoink's Download URL UI

What I’m changing about this with the next update

In iOS 14, Apple provides new API which allows developers to see if there might be a URL on the clipboard without actually accessing it. I’ll be using this going forward.

I hope that clears things up about Yoink’s usage of your clipboard.
And just to reiterate: I’m not interested in anybody’s data at all, and you can review my privacy policy here.

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