Those of us who are old enough to remember taking typing classes in high school may have found ourselves wishing that there was a similar course on texting. Typing on a smartphone keyboard can be clunky and time-consuming, but you can learn how to text faster, regardless of whether you have an iPhone or Android device. Check out the hacks and shortcuts below for a few pointers.
1. Add text shortcuts.
Save yourself the hassle of typing out long words by adding shorthand keywords. For iPhones, the built-in example is “omw,” which automatically changes to "On my way!” You could set it up so that “def” changes to "definitely," “bc” changes to "because," and “asap” changes to "as soon as possible." Gadget Hacks suggests saving your email address as “@@.,” and you can also create shortcuts for your favorite emojis. If you’re using iOS, select Settings, then General, Keyboard, and Text Replacement to add your own shortcuts. If you have an Android device, choose Settings, then Language & Input, Keyboard, and finally Text Shortcuts.
2. Hold the spacebar to move your cursor around.
So you just reread your text and noticed a glaring typo—it happens. If you have an iPhone, it’s far easier to hold the spacebar and slide the cursor from left to right or up and down instead of trying to drag it to the exact spot in your text where you made your mistake.
3. Double-tap the spacebar to add periods.
It isn’t necessary to toggle between keyboards to add a period to the end of your sentence. All you have to do is double-tap the spacebar. If you have an iPhone, make sure you have the “.” shortcut feature turned on by going into your keyboard settings. If you have an Android device, make sure the Auto Spacing function is turned on.
4. Add punctuation more easily.
Question marks and exclamation points are tedious to add, but there’s a simpler way. Instead of tapping the “123” button in the bottom left corner of your iPhone to toggle between keyboards, hold the button with your finger and then slide to the key you want. Once you release, it will automatically return to the alphabet keyboard.
5. Shake your phone to undo typing.
Instead of holding the backspace key any time you’ve made an error, just shake your iPhone. It will ask you if you want to undo your typing.
6. Install a third-party keyboard.
If you’re looking for a keyboard app to improve your texting speed, Google’s Gboard (for Android and iOS) is a popular choice. It lets you “glide” to type faster, and also has functions to help you erase text quickly and easily search for GIFs. With the Gboard, you can move your cursor by holding the spacebar, much like the built-in iPhone function. Other reliable options for keyboards include SwiftKey, Chrooma, Fleksy, TextExpander, and Swype.