Many of Android 10's changes, like the new dark theme and extra notification management tools, are popular additions to the platform, but not every tweak is so well-loved. If you relied on clipboard syncing for your mobile-to-desktop workflow, you're out of luck. Google nerfed clipboard managers as part of Android 10, and now that the update is rolling out to Pixel users widely, those that depended on that functionality to stay productive are out of luck.

Cross-device clipboard sync might seem like a niche feature, but it's actually built into macOS and iOS, and plenty of people depend on it. For them, losing it could make quite a dent in productivity. The privacy benefits of Android 10's changes are tangible now that we all rely on copy/pasting two-factor codes and passwords, but the loss of clipboard access to third-party applications for genuinely legitimate uses means clipboard management and synchronization are effectively dead on Android 10 — though there is a workaround.

Since clipboard data is now restricted to foregrounded applications with focus and "input method editors" (i.e., keyboards), developers interested in securing access to the clipboard for things like cross-platform sync or extended clipboard management will need to bundle that functionality inside a software keyboard or create new workflows using a foregrounded application. Since Microsoft owns SwiftKey now, Microsoft could integrate its cloud clipboard sync into SwiftKey, mitigating this problem for many. The feature was teased for the application late last year, but so far as we can tell, it isn't live yet. A support representative was quoted in June as saying that development for the feature was "paused."

AP's own Artem Russakovski has proclaimed that he will return to rooting his device if it is the only way to get clipboard sync back.

Also note that this change in Android 10 doesn't affect foreground clipboard managers, and many PC -> Android clipboard sync methods still work, but not vice-versa without a foreground component.

If you are among those that rely on clipboard sync via services like Pushbullet or any of the dozens of smaller applications, you may want to hold off on the Android 10 update until developers can come up with a keyboard-based workaround. If it takes too long, though, you may not have a choice if you need a secure phone.