Editor’s Note: This is not a blog about making your thumbs smaller.

The start of the new millennium saw one of the most popular ‘smartphones;’ the BlackBerry. Of course, business users got hooked like crack-addicts, for many reasons including it’s QWERTY keyboard. The addiction to the “CrackBerry” is over for most but the lifers – the iPhone is now the choice for many users. One common complaint about the iPhone however is the “keyboard” – if you can call it that.

iPhone apps

Are you all thumbs? Try with a left thumb and right forefinger.

Personally, when I took traded in my flip-phone for a smart phone, I stood at the counter at Best Buy and grabbed every model I could and typed in “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” as quickly as I could, without pause for my errors. With no preconceived notions of which one was better, I chose the iPhone (1st Gen.) solely because it gave me the most accurate results. My CrackBerry addict friends warned me how sad I would be to buy it. Now they all have iPhones too.

Here’s some hot tips to make your iPhone typing life a little easier:

  1. Lock caps lock – Using ALL CAPS while typing is generally frowned upon; no one likes being yelled at. However, when you need to type more than one letter in a row in caps, lock the keyboard in caps mode by double tapping the caps lock button. The caps key turns blue, indicating caps lock is on. When you’re done, tap it once to turn it off.
  2. Turn off auto-correct – We’ve all seen the funny and sometimes embarrassing texts blamed on auto-correct. It’s good when testing new phones, but can be a hindrance  once you’ve gotten the hang of it. Turn auto-correct off in Settings/ General/Keyboard/Auto-Correction – Off. Give that a shit.
    Editor’s Note: he meant “give that a shot” – damn spell check!
  3. Long-press keys for more options – The iPhone’s keyboard is a little sparse with many of the keys beyond the letters and number keys not visible – it’s no laptop keyboard. They’re still visible,  just not labeled. Many keys offer a long-press on the key to bring up a number of different options and other keys; e.g. long-press the A key to bring up different letters associated with a, or a long press on ? will bring up the option to use an inverted question mark or an exclamation point. Play around with them, and you’ll find tons of different typing options.
  4. Stop typing “.com” – You don’t have to always type .com, .net or .org in certain places, the iPhone will put it in for you. Like when you’re typing a web address on the browser, you can do a long-press on the “.” to get a pop-up of a whole bunch of “dot something” suffixes. This also works in email To, CC and BCC: fields.
  5. Use Siri – admittedly I’m not a power-user of Siri. I still feel like the Captain of the Starship Enterprise (name any one) as I ask the computer to perform my tasks – which is ironic in my 1957 Speedster. Sometimes the commands work – other times, not-so-much. However I did see my buddy using Siri the other night in a way it was intended to be used. Reading and answering texts by voice – once the right commands were used – was a simple task. At first I thought it was rude to be speaking out loud in front of the small group, but quickly found it was refreshing that we were all included in the thread with the verbal commands. Doesn’t work for all situations of course, but worth the effort to learn better so it’s an option when you want it.

Do you have other tips?