Google has made the clipboard manager app an untenable proposition in Android 10 with the reclassification of a system permission vital to how it works. But João Dias is persisting: the maker of Tasker and many other automation apps has updated the beta version of his clipboard manager called Join and you'll be able to cheat your way back to making it work from your Android 10 device again.

The app, as intended, should be able to pick up any tranche of text you've copied and log it into the app. If you've got the app installed on another device, you should be able to pull the text from your first device and paste it into whatever you need on your second. Join would be able to pick up your copied text while operating in the background. However, changes to the system permission that allowed apps to read clipboard information were made in Android 10 to bar background apps from using it out of privacy concerns. After all, who knows what all the other background apps on your phone are doing at any given moment?

Dias's fix in beta v2.2 of Join is a bodge, but a few start-up prompts and some included instructions make it reasonably easy to apply. The app now requires permission to start a persistent notification service so that it can perform in the foreground. You'll then need to fire up a couple of adb commands to enable both the READ_LOGS and SYSTEM_ALERT_WINDOW Android system permissions. The first permission allows the app to read and pick up copied texts while the second permits it to generate visible UI and to then trigger a background task — in this case, bubbles will appear to indicate what you've copied has gone into Join and can now be sent to your other devices.

SYSTEM_ALERT_WINDOW has been exploited before in several reported security vulnerabilities, but Android has been placing more limits on how it is granted. That said, this permission is looking overdue for replacement solutions — especially as developers are looking to achieve certain effects for their app users.

Of note, we've been testing this beta with a OnePlus 7 Pro and have not been able to get it working. Android Police is in contact with Dias to look into what's going on with this particular phone.

You can sign up for Join's beta in the Play Store. If you've already joined, you can get the sideload the update from Dias's Dropbox link.

Join by joaoapps
Join by joaoapps
Developer: joaomgcd
Price: Free+

Beta updated to fix OnePlus devices, scroll issues

Android Police founder Artem Russakovskii initially reported that the app was not working with the OnePlus 7 Pro. The clipboard syncing didn't work at all in the first place while the bubble interface failed to show up in the process. This led to some interruptions in the display's touch input recognition.

The touch input and scroll issue

An updated beta APK v2.2.beta.2 is now available to download from here and we can report that it fixes the above issues, meaning that owners of OnePlus devices will see the proper UI show up and be able to sync what they've copied across devices.

As for Tasker users who lost their clipboard syncing capabilities, the newest beta (version 5.9.beta.2) has also had a similar workaround applied. You can get the updated APK from Dias's Dropbox or through the Play Store.

Developer: joaomgcd
Price: $3.49

If you've been using other devices to copy text and send to your Android 10 device, well, you've got nothing to worry about. That function continues to work.