Quick Look: Command-C: Universal Clipboard Sharing Between OS X and iOS.

Command-C is one of those rare applications that make you scratch your head and say: Why didn’t Apple think of that?

So…What is Command-C?

In this context, it’s an app written by Danilo Torrisi that lets you seamlessly copy and paste between Mac and iOS.

For example: instead of copying the link from your iPhone, pasting it into an email and sending it to yourself for later retrieval on your Mac, you can use Command-C to push the copied content directly to your Mac. Or maybe you want to take a phone number from your Mac and copy and paste it to your wife’s iPhone? Command-C lets you share copied content in both directions. Want to share an image between your Mac and your iPhone? Command-C can do that, too.

Command-C requires iOS 7 or later and/or OS X Mountain Lion or later. At this time, Command-C only works with Apple devices as it relies on Bonjour to establish a secure connection between both devices.

Command_C_menulet

Command-C lives in your OS X menu bar, though it can also optionally reside on your Dock. To set up Command-C, you need to install it on your Mac and any iOS devices you plan to share it with. With Command-C activated on both Mac and iPhone, you will be prompted to key in a string of letters and numbers to pair the two devices together. Have multiple iOS devices? Simply pair each device to your Mac. I was easily able to pair my iPhone and iPad to my Macs this way.

To see Command-C in action, you’ll want to watch the video on the developer’s site. Go ahead. Take a look. I’ll wait.

In terms of appearance, Command-C is a polished app with a very clean user interface. The iOS version presents a simple interface that shows the available Mac(s) you can share your clipboard contents with. Simply tap on the Mac to send your clipboard contents to and Command-C takes care of it.

The Mac version sports a few nifty controls, located in the app’s Preferences section, where you can customize the hotkey combo to invoke the application, among other things.

Command_C_prefs

The Behaviors tab lets you control Command-C’s notification options. It’s particularly handy to know when a Clipboard item was sent and received, so those two options are checked on by default.

Command_C_behaviors

If Command-C has one limitation, it’s that it only works on devices that are on the same WiFi network. So if you’re trying to share your iPhone clipboard from work to your Mac at home, you’re out of luck. Another limitation is that it only works with Apple devices, so Android and Windows users looking for a magical clipboard sharing device are out of luck.

If you don’t have a Mac, Command-C also supports iOS to iOS clipboard sharing. To assuage privacy concerns, clipboard data is securely encrypted using AES256; data is transferred directly between your devices using a local WiFi network.

In the two months I’ve used the app, my testing bears out Command-C’s claims; it works as advertised. Command-C is a boon for folks who need to share clipboard data between Apple devices.

-Krishna

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