The long-awaited announcement of copy and paste functionality was received with loud applause. The function is fairly straightforward: Double tap on some text and it will automatically select it. Grab points appear at the end of the selection and a cut/copy/paste button appears at the top. You double tap where you'd like to paste the text and a paste option bubble come up. Select paste and you're done--easy. The cut/copy/paste function works across all applications, including the Web browser.
The shake control, as seen on the newest generation of iPod Nanos, is now available on the iPhone, and in the context of copy and paste, no less. To undo or redo something you accidentally cut or pasted, you just shake the iPhone. Apple said that although it is a simple feature, they wanted the touch usability to be perfect, which is why it took until the third generation of software to add it.
All of the brouhaha over copy and paste feels somewhat silly: After all, this functionality is core to computing, and it's long been available on Palm and Windows Mobile devices, and will be coming soon to Android. T-Mobile will push out a major firmware update (codenamed "Cupcake) to users of the G1 Android handset in April, the mobile operator has said. T-Mobile's update will also introduce virtual keyboards and stereo Bluetooth support, which Apple says will be in iPhone 3.0. The landscape keyboard is a welcome feature for the iPhone, especially for e-mail and notes, where this feature is currently lacking. The Palm Pre does not have a native landscape keyboard, but that isn't a problem since there's a full QWERTY keyboard in its hardware.