The current breed of iDevices (iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad) share an almost similar on-screen virtual keyboard and therefore, you just have to master a common set of keyboard shortcuts to type a little faster on any these devices.
Let’s quickly recap the 10 most useful typing shortcuts for your iDevice:.
Tip #1: If you want to type special characters with accent marks (like the letter à or è), simply tap and hold the corresponding alphabet key for a while and it will pop-up a list of related accented characters for you to choose from. Don’t release the key before making a selection else the choice will disappear.
Tip #2: If you are typing a line of text in, say, an email message, simple tap the space bar on the keyboard twice and it will automatically insert a dot (or period) followed by a space. The next alphabet that you type will be written in uppercase without you having to press the Shift key.
Tip #3: The iPhone keyboard is pretty smart at adding apostrophes. For instance, if you need to type “doesn’t”, just forget the apostrophe and quickly type “doesnt” – the keyboard will automatically insert the apostrophe at the appropriate place.
Tip #4: The numeric keyboard shows the dollar ($) symbol by default. However, if you need to type the Pound or the Euro currency symbol, just hold the $ key and you’ll see a list of alternative symbols in a pop-up.
Tip #5: There are two ways in which you can insert the degree symbol in your text. Either switch to the numeric keyboard and hold the ‘0’ key or, if you using the regular ABC keyboard, hold the ‘O’ key (that’s the alphabet O).
Tip #6: If you want to change the style of quotation marks or if you need to use a longer dash punctuation mark instead of the default hyphen, hold the corresponding key as show in the above screenshot.
Tip #7: Typing everything in all caps is often considered rude but there can be instances where you may have to type two or more consecutive characters in uppercase (e.g., UNESCO or QWERTY).
In the default setting, you’ll to have to tap the Shift key after typing every single character or you can “Enable Caps Lock” under Settings –> General –> Keyboard and then double-tap the shift key to turn it into a Caps lock key. They will stay blue until you press one of them again.
Tip #8: When you are typing a website URL in the address bar of the Safari browser, there’s a special “.com” key in the keyboard that you can tap to quickly complete the web address.
However, if the website that you are trying to reach doesn’t end with a .com, you can still use that key. Just hold it for a while and it will give you an option to choose other popular TLDs including .edu, .org and .net.
When typing an email address in the To: or CC /BCC field of the Mail program, press and hold the dot (.) key and you’ll get a list of domain shortcuts in a pop-up to auto-complete the email address (you’ll essentially save 3 key strokes).
Tip #10: This is another useful but undocumented keyboard trick that will help you quickly switch between numerical and alphabetical keyboards (video demo).
Let’s say you are typing a document and need to insert an email address in your text. Now the “@” symbol is not available on the default “ABC” keyboard so you’ll first have to switch to the numeric keyboard (?123), tap “@” and then again switch to ABC mode.
That’s like making three keystrokes for typing one key. To simplify, just press the ?123 key, slide the finger to reach the “@” key and then lift the finger up to release the key.