Ten Tips for Faster Texting with Your iPhone and Palm Pre

Last Updated Oct 8, 2009 9:44 AM EDT

It's ironic: Both the iPhone and the Palm Pre are nominally phones, but I find that I tend to use them more for e-mail and texting than talking. Assuming I'm not some sort of freakish anomaly, I've rounded up ten tips (five for the iPhone, five for the Pre) that will help you enter text faster and more efficiently. You can thank me with an efficiently crafted e-mail. Or a comment.

iPhone Texting Tips

  • Tap the spacebar twice to get a period and a space.
  • If you only need to select a single symbol, tap the ?123 key, but then drag your finger to the character you want without lifting it. You'll get the character, and the keyboard will automatically return to ABC mode. This also works for the vice-versa.
  • Double tap the Shift key to lock it. Tap it again to undo that.
  • Typing a long e-mail? Tap the title bar (such as on the time display) to immediately scroll all the way to the top.
  • Tap and hold keys to see more options. Many keys have alternative characters or symbols. You can't tell which do without doing the old tap-and-hold, though, so experiment. There are alternative quote styles, secondary language options (like those upside-down Spanish punctuation marks and characters with umlauts), and an ellipsis in the period key.

Palm Pre Texting Tips

  • If you don't want your Pre to capitalize or autocorrect a word that you're typing, press the backspace key after the Pre makes the change and the word will revert to the way you originally entered it.
  • Backspace usually deletes one letter at a time. To delete an entire word, hold Shift and press Backspace.
  • Double tap the Shift key to lock it. Tap it again to undo that.
  • Press Orange key twice to type only numbers. Press it again to turn it off.
  • The Pre knows a some abbreviations and will autocorrect them for you. Type "u" and it'll automatically become "you," for example.
And all you BlackBerry fans out there? Rick has some texting love for you too.