Copy and paste functionality on Android is pretty basic, just as it is on most operating systems. Cutting and copying single items for pasting once is fine, but cut or copy anything else and it’s gone forever.
That’s sufficient for some, but many of us want more. For Windows, you can easily use a clipboard application to expand your functionality and do things like strip the formatting of whatever you’re pasting (you can even share your Windows clipboard with Android).
But how can you improve the behavior of copy and paste on Android? We’ve combed through dozens of apps on Google Play to find you the best.
This app is probably the most attractive app on this list, and it’s the one that most closely follows Google’s Material Design philosophy. It requires you give it access to your accessibility settings to work properly (which no other app on this list required), then it can intercept anything you copy and store it in the app.
From there, you can open the app to retrieve anything you’ve copied. You’re supposed to be able to double-tap on a text input field to paste, but that wasn’t working on my device (severely hampering functionality for me) but your mileage may vary depending on device. You might find that it not only works well, but is super fluid and customizable.
Native Clipboard also comes as an Xposed module if you’re into rooting and tinkering with your device (if you’re not, don’t mind this). The Xposed module has a few different features which are outlined well over on XDA Forums.
Download: Native Clipboard (free)
Clipper works in a similar way — anything you copy will be stored in the app. The main thing I liked about it is that you only need to open the app and tap what you want to copy before it’s copied to clipboard. Then you can navigate to wherever you need to paste it. This was a quick and simple way of doing things.
You can also just add quick phrases that you often need to type (like your email address) for easy access to them. You can even sort your notes by categories and use a persistent notification to reach the app in an instant. Unfortunately, you will also have to deal with a huge banner ad along the bottom.
For full functionality you can buy Clipper Plus for $1.99, which allows you to save more than 20 clips, sync all your clips online, get rid of ads, and search your clips.
Remember Facebook Messenger’s Chat Heads? Well, if you liked that concept — a small bubble floating around on your screen for quick access — then you’re going to love Copy Bubble.
Floating apps are all the rage on newer 5-inch and larger devices, and the little circle that Copy Bubble occupies on your screen consumes a fairly insignificant amount of space while providing super-fast access to your clippings.
Anything you copy goes straight to the app, and the number on the bubble increases by one. Then open the bubble, tap a clip to copy it, and minimize the bubble to paste your clip. As long as you’re cool with the bubble constantly on your screen, this app delivers a solid ad-free experience.
Copy Bubble is probably best only for the most avid and consistent copy and pasters.
Download: Copy Bubble (free)
AnyCopy is the app for people who want the best free experience while still ensuring a secure one. It has a premium version for $1.99, but only a few features are hidden behind that paywall: changing the size of notes, changing the default save folder, and auto-sorting notes based on the app they were copied from.
The free version is ad-free and teeming with features. You can search through your notes, start the app through a persistent notification (or turn that off), set a PIN to lock the app, and set a password to lock particular folders. On top of all of that, your local notes are all encrypted. It’s definitely the safest app of the bunch.
It works much like the others: copy anything, and you’ll later find it in AnyCopy, waiting for you to copy and paste it somewhere. It’s not the quickest solution, especially if you PIN-lock the app, but the extra security might be worth it.
Download: AnyCopy (free)
Frustrated with how long it can take to copy and paste using the other apps on this list, but don’t want a bubble on your screen? Easy Copy might be what you’re looking for. It improves the copy and paste experience by giving you direct links to other apps when you copy something.
Much like when you customize your share menu, Easy Copy basically replaces your standard copy and paste functionality, rather than trying to improve on it. Copy something and a menu appears at the bottom, along with common apps you might want to paste into like Google Search, Google Translate, or the Phone app.
If none of those apps are the one you want to paste to, you can choose the “share” option and choose from a full list of your apps. (tip: if you just want to copy to your clipboard anyway, that is also found under the “Share” option.) You can even edit the copied text right from the menu that pops up, allowing you to make little changes before sending it along.
In the settings, you can make changes to which apps are displayed and in what order, and for some, you can make further adjustments (like which language to translate to in Google Translate).
You can buy Easy Copy+ within the app for $1.99, which apparently removes the included adverts. After using the app for a full day, I have yet to run into any of these supposed ads, so I’ve not needed to upgrade yet — the free version seems to do everything just fine.
Download: Easy Copy (free)
Which Is Your Favorite?
All of these apps cater to people with different needs. Some aren’t going to like the replacement menu used by Easy Copy, while others aren’t going to like the floating bubble interface of Copy Bubble. It all comes down to which app makes the most sense for you.
For me, I love the simplicity and ease that comes with using Easy Copy. It cuts down on the number of taps required to copy and paste something, making my mobile experience just a tad bit more pleasant.
That’s just me, though. Which of these apps have you found to be the most useful? Are there other clipboard apps for Android that you’d like to recommend?