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Sunday, March 15, 2009, 09:50 pm PT (12:50 am ET)

Late rumor has iPhone 3.0 getting copy-and-paste, multitasking

Apple may be adding some of the iPhone's most heavily requested software features — including multitasking the ability to copy and paste text — with the unveiling of the 3.0 update this week.

In a live episode of Diggnation recorded at Austin's South by Southwest festival, Digg founder and show co-host Kevin Rose claimed to have "confirmation" that the feature would be a centerpiece of the new iPhone OS to be unveiled on Tuesday.

To select text, he said, users would double-tap on a word to bring up the iPhone's magnifying glass and then extend the "quotes" to cover the necessary text and perform the relevant action, though it's not known whether this would be limited to copying and pasting or would include cutting text outright.

He also hints that many of the software efforts in the year since iPhone 2.0 will bring the device up to the level of the Palm Pre, which while unreleased has a number of software advantages over Apple's platform. Notably, Rose made mention of "multitasking" before being interrupted during the segment. The Pre lets users tap a button to switch apps and lets owners launch apps without quitting the active program.

However, he also dampened hopes for video capture, explicitly warning that it wouldn't be part of the feature set for 3.0.



Rose has had a mixed track record for Apple-related rumors: while he accurately leaked the fourth-generation iPod nano and key components of iTunes 8, he has also been inaccurate regarding Blu-ray support and some iPhone features in the past. Nonetheless, he stressed at his show that the information came from a "friend" that has previously been a reliable source in the past.

Separately, Gizmodo also claimed to have two similar tips relating to copy-and-paste that were received independently from Rose's comments. Apple itself has long said that manipulating text would eventually come, but that there was a checklist of priorities which had pushed copy-and-paste out of at least iPhone 2.0.