6 Simple Tricks for Typing Texts Faster

iStock.com/PeopleImages
iStock.com/PeopleImages

Those of us who are old enough to remember taking typing classes in high school may have found ourselves wishing that there was a similar course on texting. Typing on a smartphone keyboard can be clunky and time-consuming, but you can learn how to text faster, regardless of whether you have an iPhone or Android device. Check out the hacks and shortcuts below for a few pointers.

1. Add text shortcuts.

Save yourself the hassle of typing out long words by adding shorthand keywords. For iPhones, the built-in example is “omw,” which automatically changes to "On my way!” You could set it up so that “def” changes to "definitely," “bc” changes to "because," and “asap” changes to "as soon as possible." Gadget Hacks suggests saving your email address as “@@.,” and you can also create shortcuts for your favorite emojis. If you’re using iOS, select Settings, then General, Keyboard, and Text Replacement to add your own shortcuts. If you have an Android device, choose Settings, then Language & Input, Keyboard, and finally Text Shortcuts.

2. Hold the spacebar to move your cursor around.

So you just reread your text and noticed a glaring typo—it happens. If you have an iPhone, it’s far easier to hold the spacebar and slide the cursor from left to right or up and down instead of trying to drag it to the exact spot in your text where you made your mistake.

3. Double-tap the spacebar to add periods.

It isn’t necessary to toggle between keyboards to add a period to the end of your sentence. All you have to do is double-tap the spacebar. If you have an iPhone, make sure you have the “.” shortcut feature turned on by going into your keyboard settings. If you have an Android device, make sure the Auto Spacing function is turned on.

4. Add punctuation more easily.

Question marks and exclamation points are tedious to add, but there’s a simpler way. Instead of tapping the “123” button in the bottom left corner of your iPhone to toggle between keyboards, hold the button with your finger and then slide to the key you want. Once you release, it will automatically return to the alphabet keyboard.

5. Shake your phone to undo typing.

Instead of holding the backspace key any time you’ve made an error, just shake your iPhone. It will ask you if you want to undo your typing.

6. Install a third-party keyboard.

If you’re looking for a keyboard app to improve your texting speed, Google’s Gboard (for Android and iOS) is a popular choice. It lets you “glide” to type faster, and also has functions to help you erase text quickly and easily search for GIFs. With the Gboard, you can move your cursor by holding the spacebar, much like the built-in iPhone function. Other reliable options for keyboards include SwiftKey, Chrooma, Fleksy, TextExpander, and Swype.

Watch Ford's Sweaty-Butt Robot Put a Car Seat to the Test

iStock.com/gargantiopa
iStock.com/gargantiopa

Buyers tend to look at price, safety, and gas mileage when shopping for a car; a question that rarely comes up at the dealership is how well a car seat stands up to years of butt sweat. But even if it isn't a priority for car owners, the vehicle testers at Ford work to ensure the cars that leave the factory can accommodate the sweatiest passengers.

The secret to Ford's durable seats is a device called the Robutt. This video from the car company shows a Kuka robotic arm pushing a buttocks-shaped cushion into a car seat. To replicate a person sitting in the car after exercising, the dummy butt is heated to approximately human body temperate and pumped with half a liter of water. The average person produces about 0.7 to 1.5 liters of sweat in one hour of intense exercise, and people who are especially fit perspire 1.5 to 1.8 liters in the same time.

The sit test is repeated 7500 times over three days—simulating one decade of someone driving their sweaty behind home from the gym. If the surface of a car seat can make it through all that abuse without any wear and tear, the design is good enough for a Ford vehicle. Robutt-approved seats were first introduced in the 2018 Ford Fiesta and are now being built into all Ford vehicles in Europe.

You can watch the messy process play out below. Here are some more robots that, like the Robutt, were designed for oddly specific tasks.

Your Netflix Subscription Just Shot Up in Price

iStock.com/amesy
iStock.com/amesy

For the past several years, Netflix has been rolling out a steady stream of expensive original content, from Dave Chappelle comedy specials (for which he was reportedly paid $20 million apiece) to $90 million feature film spectacles like 2018’s Bright.

It appears the bill now needs settling up. Variety reports that the service has announced a price hike for its 58.4 million subscribers.

Effective immediately, Netflix subscribers on the Standard plan with two HD streams will pay $12.99 monthly, up from $10.99; the Premium plan, which includes four HD streams and 4K options, is jumping from $13.99 to $15.99 per month; while the Basic plan, with one standard-definition stream, will increase by a dollar, from $7.99 to $8.99.

In a press release explaining the fee increase, Netflix stated that the price hike is partly a product of the company’s desire to “continue investing in great entertainment and improving the overall Netflix experience.”

Naturally, whether that represents value depends on whether users are enjoying their programming. Financially, the company spends more on content than comparable services like HBO and Hulu—by some estimates, as much as $13 billion in 2018.

Subscribers have a new season of The Punisher, Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened, a documentary on the doomed Fyre music festival; and a new Ted Bundy documentary series, Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes, to look forward to in the coming weeks.

[h/t Variety]

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