Long before we were talking to AI assistants on smart devices, we had Clippy — the cheery, animated paperclip mascot of Microsoft Office, who’s definitely-not-at-all-annoying tips and contextual actions “helped” users navigate Word, Excel, and the rest of the Office suite.
Clippy (whose full name is actually “Clippit”) wasn’t very well-liked, leading to his eventual removal from Office after only four short years of duty. In hindsight, though, the little assistant was ahead of its time. Sure, most users disabled Clippy immediately, but the concept of having an interactive helper has been borne out by the likes of Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri and Cortana.
It almost seems unfair not to give poor old Clippy some props. Other than a set of Microsoft Teams emojis, Microsoft has kept the proto-AI helper in retirement, which is why we’re pleased to see him make his (unofficial) return on Mac and iOS thanks to developer Devran “Cosmo” Uenal’s Clippy app on Github.
Downloading and installing Clippy for Mac is easy:
Open the Clippy on mac’s Github page.
Scroll down to the “First Start” section and click the “Download Clippy for MacOS” link.
Run the installation file, then follow the instructions provided on the page to configure the app.
— Cosmo — Devran Uenal (@maccosmo) September 4, 2019
Once installed, you’ll have a tiny Clippy present on your Mac desktop. You can move him around your desktop by clicking and dragging, while right-clicking and selecting “Animate!” will cycle through classic Clippy animations. Check Uenal’s Tweet above for a quick video demonstration. The app doesn’t do much more than that, but it’s a neat little touch of nostalgia nonetheless.