Typing shortcuts for the BlackBerry and iPhone

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Just upgraded to your first smartphone, switched models, or simply want to master the mobile keyboard? You'll be happy to know that there a handful of shortcuts on the BlackBerry and iPhone to improve your typing speed.

Here are a few tips to appease your tired thumbs and make your smartphone more efficient:

Apple iPhone
When you're first starting out, turn your phone on its side so you can type in landscape mode. The landscape keyboard is bigger, and you may find it easier to move both of your thumbs with this spacing.

This may not be available in all programs, but you'll find it easier to use when you can. To use a letter with an accent mark, tap and hold the corresponding alphabet key. A list will pop up. Don’t release the key until you have made your selection. Tap the space bar twice to insert a period followed by a space.

When you are typing the URL of a website into the address bar in Safari, you will see a “.com” button at the bottom of the keyboard. If you tap and hold down, other popular domain names like “.net” and “.org” will also pop up.

You can turn on a setting that counts the characters in your text messages. Go to “settings” and then “messages.” Then slide on the toggle that says “character count.” You can also set custom keyboard shortcuts. Go to “settings” and then “general.” Tap “keyboard” and then find where it says “shortcuts.” You will see the default shortcut: “omw” for “on my way.” Now you can create your own easy-to-remember abbreviations to speed up your typing.

You can also move your phone to delete entire chunks of text or start over after realizing you made a mistake in your text message. Shake your phone and the “undo typing” option will pop up, along with the choice to cancel the action and go back to your original screen.

Quickly edit text by using the double-tap method. Tap the word you want to change twice and start typing its replacement. This is also a quick way to copy and paste words.

You can insert a period when using a BlackBerry by pressing the space key twice. The next letter will be capitalized. You can also hold down a key to type a capital letter instead of taking the extra step of pressing the shift key.

Activate caps lock by hitting “alt” and then the right shift. You can activate number lock by pressing “alt” and then the left shift.

When you are typing an email address, you can insert the “@” symbol by hitting the space bar once. Hitting the space bar the next time will add a period.

You can also display some information by typing words into your keypad. Type “myver” to display information about your BlackBerry model and operating system on some phones. You can type “mypin” for your PIN and “mynumber” for the mobile number your BlackBerry uses. Typing “LT” will display the time and typing “LD” will show the date.