The internet is always surprising us. You think you know every tool, every major site out there, and then something you’ve never heard of pops up and surprises you.
Pastebin is, for me, one such example, and one that is incredibly useful.
A website that, basically, stores large sections of text for a limited time. Sound pointless? It does seem a bit redundant with all the many note taking applications and word processors out there, but that’s until you start actually using the service in anger.
Primarily aimed at programmers to enable them to store code in a handy and unobtrusive format, the uses stretch far beyond that. Take me for example.
When I write a review, I usually do the actual typing in a basic text editor or sometimes in WordPress itself. The problem I can sometimes have with writing in a text editor is that, when I eventually paste the article into WordPress, I obviously then snip and change it a lot. WordPress saves drafts of my work automatically, and I can manually request a draft to be saved, but WordPress has a nasty habit of forgetting all drafts, wiping all the text and reverting back to the original draft. It’s a pain, as I am just left with my original text, and the first draft online. It’s even worse when creating with WordPress itself.
With Pastebin, I can, at any stage copy drafts of my article, either from WP or my text editor straight into Pastebin. I can do this as many times as I want, throughout the entire creative process of writing my article. Sure, I could create documents on my PC for every draft, but that soon becomes messy.
There are other times when this can be an extremely handy tool. How many times have you had two or three URL’s that you are trying to copy and paste across services, I know this happens to me all the time. Yes there are specific tools to fix this problem, but Pastebin suits me just fine.
So, now that I have, hopefully, explained the service, what of the webOS app?
Well, it is essentially a wrapper for the site, but it is also elegant and useful, and suits webOS down to the ground.
The app allows you to log into your account, at which point all your logged pastes are synced to the device. As far as I can tell, you can do just about everything the main site can do. The app has two visual themes to choose from, supports different device orientations, enables you to share pastes via email or SMS or to open the paste in the browser.
Perhaps the most useful feature is the fact that the app lets you copy one of your pastes to the phones actual clipboard. This one feature opens up the app and makes it feel more integrated within webOS. One feature that would expand this feeling even more would be Just Type inclusion, which isn’t in this release, but is promised for a future version. Two other things missing and promised for the future are Facebook and Twitter sharing options. A shame, but definitely something to look forward to.
The app has the ability to run a live preview of your current paste, but the app has a problem when you zoom in to far, as the top bar goes off center, but this is a very minor quibble.
Overall, a great and extremely useful service is joined to an intelligent and elegant webOS app that just may prove to be one of those rare things; a genuinely useful app that you go back to time and again.
Already becoming irreplaceable for me, highly recommended.