Microsoft Clip Layer Is The Latest Garage App…
Clip Layer is a great Android app from the Microsoft Garage, Redmond’s worldwide experimental projects lab that delivers a slew of interesting apps and resources.
Why would Microsoft do this other than the reasons laid out in the link above?
Consider that Microsoft allegedly $5 to $15 on every Android device sold and
approximately $2 billion a year on patent royalties.
What Problem Does Clip Layer Solve?
Android allows app developers a highly granular approach to in-app permissions. In this case the developer can disable select-copy-paste even at web view level. Along comes the app user and sees a vital piece of information and bang! No way to easily copy from the app and paste elsewhere. At best the user can take a screenshot but a graphic is not text.
Clip Layer allows the user to grab, clip and copy any text from any app, even when blocked. If the app is running, then just hit the home button to ignore those app permissions and copy that much-needed information.
A simple and elegant solution.
The Warptest POV
I hear those screams of outrage:
- How dare Microsoft run roughshod over the app permissions set by other developers?
- Worse, how is Google allowing Microsoft to get away with this kind of crap?
On the one hand, you’re right. At least until you are that user who wants to copy something and is blocked. On the other, Android allows developers a lot of freedom including geo-blocking apps which doesn’t stop users from changing their location to access the app (Microsoft has been known to geo-block their apps too).
I searched for specific criteria in Play Store Acceptance criteria officially making Microsoft the bad guy for circumventing copy blocking but, didn’t find it. Most people using this app won’t have nefarious intent, just a desire to share information. Why would you block that and why would you want to annoy your app users that way?
So, Android users take Clip Layer for a spin and see how it helps you. A modest award for the most creative use shared in the comments. Game on!