Easy Ways to Take Shortcuts

Lots of tidbits today. Sit back and read the summaries. I did the heavy reading for you.

Today in Headlines
Some Apple iOS users are reporting that they are being required to set up three back-up questions and enable a better security password when they try to download anything from iTunes. I personally had no trouble downloading anything today, but Sophos, a trusted security site, says that many others have had to go through this process. It’s really a good idea, but the problem is that it was not announced by Apple prior to this. And, it apparently looks and feels a lot like those security phishing emails and pop-ups some of you may have been unfortunate enough to experience. But, in this case, Apple did fess up. So, do the deed, and set up a strong password and back-up security. You can store all the passwords and questions in an e-wallet or a password manager app. I’m sure I’ll get to reviewing them before too long.

In better news, the iPad may be having a baby. A little replica of itself. But, a little bigger than the iPhone. A Chinese site is reporting that an approximately 7″ iPad will be arriving in stores in late summer or early fall and will retail for about $250. This would make it timely enough to face off against the first Windows 8 tablets and cheap enough to compete head-on with Amazon’s Kindle Fire, which they sell at a loss hoping to make money more in long-term gain of customers.

How to Use Shortcut Keys to Make Short Work of Using Your Device
So, wouldn’t it be great to type in “cul,” hit “Space,” and have it say “See you later”? Well, you can! You can actually say anything as simple or complex as you would like with any shortcut you would like, all for free. It takes a bit of work on the front end, typing them all in once, but you will never have to type your email address in again on your iPhone. How great is that?

Go to the Settings app and under “General,” scroll toward the bottom of the list and hit “Keyboard,” then “Shortcuts.” Then all you do is hit the “+” sign and think up things you’re sick of typing in. You add the exact words you want the message to say under “Phrase,” and then type in what you actually want to type in instead under “Shortcut.”

For example, instead of asking my son to let the dog outside by screaming across the house, I type in “culp.” Shortcuts turns it into a very polite “Can you let Jasper outside please?” Much more civilized. It lists the second part as optional because this is also a good way to enter a word into your device’s dictionary without it having to learn over a bunch of times of you typing it in. You just enter the correct word and leave the second part blank. That is a good way to enter in a name your iPhone perpetually wants to spell wrong.

Typing “em” instead of my email address makes the process worth it infinitely. If you really do want to say em and not your email address in the future, type in those letters and then hit the “X” on the bubble that pops up. Hitting space after typing in the letters is what triggers the shortcut. Oh, and this does not work for passwords. You cannot type in a short way to enter passwords correctly. But, an e-wallet or password manager will do that for you too.

New Blog Schedule
I am now blogging daily, so I can bring you reviews, news, and tips, all in one tiny blog. Basically, every other day I will review things, and on the off days, I will be writing blogs like today’s, where I cover news and iOS usage tips. Same iOS Affairs, better daily schedule for writing, and hopefully, for reading.

And if any of this just doesn’t make sense to you or you don’t even know what iOS really is, leave a comment, anonymous or otherwise. You can even leave a comment and ask me not to publish the comment and I will still answer your question. Whatever works for you guys. I don’t know if I have become too wrapped up in iOS-land to know when I’m glossing over the basics too quickly, or just the opposite. The only way you get a vote though is to leave a comment below. See you tomorrow!