It took longer than anyone would’ve liked, but once Apple added copy and paste features to iOS, it picked the right implementation. Since then, a number of contextual options have been added when you highlight text, as well. Pilotmoon Software’s PopClip ($5) brings the same sort of features to the Mac.
Once you select text, PopClip automatically gives you options above it such as cut, copy, spell check, or define. It knows what kind of text you’re working with, too; if it’s a link or email address, it’ll give you the option to open the appropriate app. Additionally, there are more than 50 free extensions that can be installed, which allow for a ton of different contextual options. We can’t help but wonder whether Apple will build this feature right into OS X 10.9—we’ll have to see later this year. Until and unless that happens, PopClip’s worth considering.