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9 typing tips every Android and iOS user should know

Ben Patterson | Feb. 5, 2015
Wish it were a little easier to type in ALL CAPS on your Android or iPhone, or ever get stumped while looking for the em dash? What about typing letters with accent marks, or dealing with cumbersome URLs? Or maybe you're just hankering for an alternative to tapping on a slippery glass screen.

Wish it were a little easier to type in ALL CAPS on your Android or iPhone, or ever get stumped while looking for the em dash? What about typing letters with accent marks, or dealing with cumbersome URLs? Or maybe you're just hankering for an alternative to tapping on a slippery glass screen.

Read on for 9 ways to make typing on your iPhone, iPad, or Android device a little easier, from how to turn on "caps lock" to a simple shortcut to the exclamation mark.

1. ".com" made easy (iOS)

Want to type a URL directly into the address bar in Safari (on iOS) or Chrome (for Android)? Don't bother with laboriously tapping in ".com" or ".net".

Instead, just tap and hold the "." key; when you do, a pop-up balloon will reveal a series of shortcuts, from ".com" to ".us".

2. Accent marks (Android and iOS)

Don't get caught skipping the accent grave in "voilà" while typing that email on your iPhone or Android phone.

You can access a generous portion of accent marks — acute, grave, circumflex, and otherwise — by tapping and holding a letter key (like "a").

3. Swipe to type (Android and iOS)

Sick to death of painstakingly tapping out messages on your Android or iPhone touchscreen? Here's a nifty trick: swiping to type. 

The concept is simple: Rather than tapping each individual key when typing a word, swipe-to-type keyboards let you slide your fingertip from one key to the next.

As your finger loops around the keys, your phone predicts the work you're trying to type — er, swipe.

Sound weird? Indeed, swiping to type does take some getting used to, but it'll become second nature with practice.

The "stock" Android keyboard has its own built-in "swipe to type" feature. Just tap Settings > Language & Input, tap the Settings icon next to Google Keyboard, then tap the checkbox next to Enable gesture typing.

There are also plenty of third-party, swipe to type-ready keyboards in the Google Play store, with Swype being the most notable.

Wondering why there's no Caps Lock key on the keyboard of your Android or iOS device? Well, there is, actually — it's just well hidden.

The standard iOS keyboard lacked the swipe-to-type capabilities of Android until iOS 8 came along. That update finally brought third-party keypads — particularly Swype — to the iPhone and iPad.

4. Lock the Caps key (Android and iOS)

See the Shift key? Just double-tap it. When you do, a little horizontal line will appear near the bottom of the Shift key, indicating that you're in ALL CAPS mode.

5. You're so money (Android and iOS)

Want to type the currency symbols for the yen (¥), the euro (€), or the pound (£)? Simple.

 

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