iPhone Tips & Tricks – Focus: iPhone’s Keyboard

iPhone Tips & Tricks

One of the gambles Apple took with with the iPhone, dubbed the most hyped gadget ever created, was doing away with a physical keyboard and instead featuring a full QWERTY soft keyboard on the large multi-touch display with innovative new software.

Apple wanted to ensure that there are no hiccups so prior to the iPhone launch; Apple released videos to help users use the iPhone’s keyboard and since then we have also had a lot of tips and tricks from iPhone users themselves.

So here is a roundup of all the tips & tricks which should help make a difference in the usability of your iPhone’s keyboard.

There were many who predicted that one of the reasons for iPhone’s failure would be the lack of a physical keyboard, as expected Apple wanted to be sure that people do not face problems with multi-touch keyboard and took the proactive steps in educating users on how to use iPhone’s innovative soft keyboard. If that was not enough once the iPhone was launched, we have had iPhone users publishing their own iPhone tips & tricks.

Below are a few iPhone Tips & Tricks to use iPhone’s keyboard to make it that much more easier for you:

Apple releases "iPhone Keyboard" video

Apple has made good use of videos to educate users on their revolutionary new product, first it was iPhone: A guided tour and then one specially for the keyboard: "iPhone’s keyboard".

iPhone "Will" Contractions

If you wanted to type contractions like "he’ll" or "we’ll," but they were a hassle: without the apostrophe, as they are both words on their own, so the keyboard software wouldn’t recommend the contraction. You have to click the punctuation button, then hit the apostrophe to form the right word.

But there’s a better way: simply add a third "l." Type "helll," and the keyboard software will recommend "he’ll." Type "welll," and the keyboard software will recommend "we’ll."

This also works with "were" and "we’re." Type an extra "e" ("weree") and the software recommends "we’re."

David Pogue’s iPhone period trick

The punctuation keys and alphabet keys appear in two different keyboard layouts.

So every time you want to type a period or a comma, it’s a three-step:

(1) Tap the “.?123” key in the lower left to invoke the punctuation layout.

(2) Type the period.

(3) Type the ABC key in the lower left to return to the alphabet layout.

Imagine how painful it would be to type, for example, “a P.O. Box in the U.S.A.”! It would actually take you 34 finger taps and 10 mode changes.

Here is a method of typing a period or a comma with only a SINGLE finger gesture.

The iPhone doesn’t register most key presses until you *release* your finger.

So here’s what you can do, all in one motion:

1. Touch the “.?123” key, but don’t lift your finger as the punctuation layout appears.

2. Slide your finger a half inch onto the period or comma key, and release.

Incredibly, the ABC layout returns automatically. You’ve typed a period or a comma with one finger touch instead of three. In fact, you can type ANY of the punctuation symbols the same way.

A better iPhone period trick

In case you find David Pogue’s period trick clunky like folks at Tuaw, here is a presumably a better way to do it:

Simply press that ".123" key normally, type your period and then hit the space bar – the iPhone realizes you’ve just ended a sentence and are beginning another, so it automatically switches back to the alphabetical layout.

They have found this to be far more natural and easier to use in any kind of mobile or awkward situations.

The trick also works with any character on the punctuation/number keyboard layout: press the .123 button, hit a number or punctuation character, then press the space bar to switch the layout back to alphabetical. For some characters that typically have a letter after them, such as an apostrophe, the keyboard seems to switch itself back automatically without any interaction on the user’s part; not even a space bar.

Don’t even bother with the .com button

Just like a
real browser, it appears that the iPhone will allow you to type in most
.com URLs without having to type the actual .com or pressing the
button. Simply press Go after typing the site name and iPhone’s Safari
browser should automatically insert the .com for you.

It might be a mere savings of one button press to be
sure, but shaving off even one repeated key press can
amount to a lot of saved time after a while.

Hope these tips and tricks help make a huge difference in the usability of your iPhone’s soft keyboard. Check back for more tips & tricks for iPhone’s keyboard here and if you have a trick of your own do let me know.

Source 1, Source 2

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