Developers have come up with all kinds of clever tricks for third-party keyboards since the debut of iOS 8 last year. Some make it easy to find and use animated GIFs, others overdose on cute Emoji, and a few actually try to improve on Apple’s stock keyboard with gestures, predictive typing, and more.
Somewhere in-between lies apps like TextExpander and Clips, which store brief snippets of text that can be summoned from anywhere the keyboard can be used in a couple of taps. QuickKey is one of the more useful apps I’ve found in this category; it streamlines the process by reducing the number of times you have to type common phrases and Internet details over and over again each day.
QuickKey stores frequently-used text snippets in a variety of common categories, making them conveniently available just by switching to its custom keyboard. Unlike similar apps like TextExpander that require users to remember abbreviations in order to expand snippets, QuickKey displays them exactly as they will be entered once tapped.
Categories include Names, Usernames, Emails, Addresses, and Phrases, but there’s also a Favorites category for keeping most-used snippets close at hand. To add existing entries to Favorites, simply swipe right-to-left across each, then tap on the star icon. Once added, Favorites can be sorted in any order you’d like; a preference setting allows Favorites to be presented first, otherwise the last used section is displayed.
To reduce the initial setup time, QuickKey includes an option to import existing personal data from your address book. This step is done entirely on the device and nothing is uploaded to the cloud or shared with the developer in any way.
Another plus for privacy advocates: QuickKey does not require users to supply full access to the operating system like other third-party keyboards. Although the app effectively duplicates the built-in iOS keyboard shortcuts feature, it does so in a more elegant and thoughtful way—you can paste complete names and addresses, or just individual chunks such as first name, city, or ZIP code when filling out online forms.
Keys? What keys?
Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.