EncycloClip™ for iPhone®, iPad®, and iPod Touch® is a faceless iPhone/iPad app by which searches the online version of the Encyclopædia Britannica® for the contents of your clipboard. To use it, select and copy some text (for instance in an eBook, web page, or your own notes); then launch EncycloClip™ from your home screen. It is possible to do this manually from Safari by visiting the Britannica website, but EncycloClip™ reduces the minimum tap count for a lookup to two from eight (or six if you have added it to your Home Screen), and eliminates an unnecessary web request.

EncycloClip™ is neither endorsed by nor affiliated with Encyclopædia Britannica®. It merely facilitates access to their web site, which is ad-supported and sometimes needs to scroll down to reveal its search results. On recent iOS versions, launching Safari can sometimes take several seconds; during this time a blank screen will be displayed.

EncycloClip™ was available in the Apple iOS App Store from 2010 until 2019; when I wrote it, it was the only easy way to work around two bugs in mobile Safari and Britannica’s web design. In September 2019 I was told that it violated App Review Guidelines, because I had not needed to update it recently, and that it would be removed within the month. I appealed, pointing out that the Guidelines actually required updating only to ensure that the app remains functional and engaging to new and existing customers; I noted that the Encyclopædia Britannica has remained functional and engaging for two centuries. I was told that exceptions are not provided. I was further informed that an update would now be rejected, as the Britannica web site offers a trial subscription to non-subscribers.

I am therefore making the source code available under GPL2 at https://github.com/FlashSheridan/EncycloClip, so that users with Xcode may install it on iOS devices. Users who have upgraded to iOS 11 or later may be able to achieve a similar functionality with Run Shortcut. (I am still clinging to iOS 10, as many of my favorite apps and versions are available only in 32-bit.)

Known Issues

For support, email kwikmenu@pobox.com.

This page: http://pobox.com/~flash/EncycloClip