6 Simple Tricks for Typing Texts Faster

iStock.com/PeopleImages
iStock.com/PeopleImages

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.

Wayfair’s Fourth of July Clearance Sale Takes Up to 60 Percent Off Grills and Outdoor Furniture

Wayfair/Weber
Wayfair/Weber

This Fourth of July, Wayfair is making sure you can turn your backyard into an oasis while keeping your bank account intact with a clearance sale that features savings of up to 60 percent on essentials like chairs, hammocks, games, and grills. Take a look at some of the highlights below.

Outdoor Furniture

Brisbane bench from Wayfair
Brisbane/Wayfair

- Jericho 9-Foot Market Umbrella $92 (Save 15 percent)
- Woodstock Patio Chairs (Set of Two) $310 (Save 54 percent)
- Brisbane Wooden Storage Bench $243 (Save 62 percent)
- Kordell Nine-Piece Rattan Sectional Seating Group with Cushions $1800 (Save 27 percent)
- Nelsonville 12-Piece Multiple Chairs Seating Group $1860 (Save 56 percent)
- Collingswood Three-Piece Seating Group with Cushions $410 (Save 33 percent)

Grills and Accessories

Dyna-Glo electric smoker.
Dyna-Glo/Wayfair

- Spirit® II E-310 Gas Grill $479 (Save 17 percent)
- Portable Three-Burner Propane Gas Grill $104 (Save 20 percent)
- Digital Bluetooth Electric Smoker $224 (Save 25 percent)
- Cuisinart Grilling Tool Set $38 (Save 5 percent)

Outdoor games

American flag cornhole game.
GoSports

- American Flag Cornhole Board $57 (Save 19 percent)
- Giant Four in a Row Game $30 (Save 6 percent)
- Giant Jenga Game $119 (Save 30 percent)

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No Squawking, Please: A Backyard Bird Library Is the Star of This Livestream

Bird Library, YouTube
Bird Library, YouTube

Many people discovered backyard birding when they were quarantined in their homes at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even if you have a vibrant wildlife population in your area, the Bird Library webcam is worth checking out. As Atlas Obscura reports, the bird feeder at the focus of the livestream resembles a tiny library where feathered guests can misbehave.

Librarian Rebecca Flowers and woodworker Kevin Cwalina were inspired to build the Bird Library in 2015. Located in a backyard in Charlottesville, Virginia, it features a miniature reading chair, bookshelves, and a reception desk. The decorations are even updated to match the seasons; the feeder currently sports a banner that says "Summer Reading." The main differences setting it apart from a real library are the bird seed scattered on the floor and the avian visitors.

The Bird Library attracts a diverse collection of patrons. Sparrows, cardinals, and mourning doves have been recorded perching on the librarian's desk and checking out the reading materials. The occasional squirrel has also been known to stop by.

Live video of the feeder streams on the Bird Library's YouTube page and website 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can play the video below to check in on the current guests. If the backyard Bird Library has inspired you to find birds closer to home, here's some gear for beginner naturalists.

[h/t Atlas Obscura]