Here’s another tip that’s just for iPhones: If you type out your message and then tap the emoji icon, you’ll see words that can be replaced with emoji start to glow orange. Tap on any glowing word to replace it with the corresponding emoji.
Easily Edit Text
Your phone’s keyboard isn’t just for typing—it can also be used to select, edit, and navigate around what you’ve already written. Depending on the size of your device’s screen, this can be tricky to do.
A handy feature for the iPhone keyboard can help out here: Press and hold the Space key, and the keyboard will transform into a trackpad. You can drag your finger across this trackpad to move the text cursor more accurately.
Over on Android, the equivalent feature can be found by tapping the three dots at the top of the keyboard, then choosing Text Editing. You then get keys for moving the text cursor and quick access to copy, paste, and select functions.
Save Time Typing
Did you know you can get your phone to replace custom acronyms with longer text strings? So rather than typing out “be there soon” over and over again, you can just put “bts” and let your phone do the rest.
If you’re using an iPhone, from Settings head to General, Keyboard, and Text Replacement. You can then use the + (plus) button to add new shortcuts. When you type these abbreviations, the replacements will appear as corrections above the keyboard.
On Android, tap the cog icon above the keyboard and choose Dictionary and Personal dictionary. Choose your language, and on the next screen you can tap the + (plus) button to set up new shortcuts, which again appear as suggestions above the keyboard.
Use Your Voice Instead
Another phone keyboard trick is to not use the keyboard at all, but to dictate text using your voice instead. You might find it’s a lot quicker, especially in situations where you don’t have both hands free to use on your phone.
Activating the dictation feature couldn’t be much simpler, whether you’re using an iPhone or an Android handset. Just tap the microphone icon (below the keyboard on the right on iOS, above the keyboard on the right on Android) and start talking.
You’ll soon get the hang of it, and you can introduce punctuation and other special characters simply by saying them. To go back to normal, tap on the keyboard icon (iOS) or tap the microphone icon again (Android).
Switch Keyboards Completely
You’re not stuck with the software keyboard that comes preinstalled on your phone: On both iOS and Android there are several different third-party alternatives to pick from.
SwiftKey is one of the most popular options: It’s developed by Microsoft and is available for iOS and Android for free. It aims to learn your typing style over time, making predictions and auto-corrections more and more accurate.
If you want to try something really different, give the freemium Typewise for iOS and Android a go. It uses a unique honeycomb pattern, with lots of customization options, and it promises to boost your typing speed by up to 33 percent.