If you are one of those, like me, who chooses to set up a new iOS device as a “new” device instead of restoring from a backup, you know you’ve set yourself up for a little work. As a side note, I prefer to set up new mobile devices as a new device because it helps me clean out Apps I don’t need or use any longer. Generally I bring Apps back as I need them.
But back to the subject at hand. Part of the work in setting up a new iPad or iPhone as a new device means entering in email addresses and passwords for Apps and websites that require a log on. iOS Custom Keyboard Shortcuts have been around since iOS 5 and they can be a great help and save you some time.
Here’s a quick primer on setting up iOS Custom Keyboard Shortcuts to enter an email address. Go to Settings/General/Keyboard. Scroll down to Shortcuts. If you haven’t set any up you’ll only see one Shortcut and that will be “omw” for “On My Way.” Below the list of Shortcuts you’ll see Add New Shortcut. After selecting this you’ll get a screen that asks for a phrase and a shortcut. Enter in the phrase, in our case enter in your email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Then pick a key combination for the short cut. In this example I chose “scom.” Make sure this key combination isn’t something you type regularly or a common word such as “email.” Because from now on when you type that shortcut, iOS will give you the option to enter the keyboard shortcut. When that occurs, hit the space bar and you’ve entered in the phrase.
I use this all the time when I’m entering in an email address as a log-in and it saves some keystrokes and time. Note though that after hitting the space bar, iOS will add a trailing space to the email address. I’ve found that on some websites and log-ins I have to delete that trailing space or I can get a log-in error.
Another plus, if you’re using both an iOS 7 device and also a Mac running Mavericks is that these Custom Keyboard Shortcuts can now be synced between those devices. So, if you visit a website that has a tendency to log you off now and again, typing in your email can be a little easier.
As and addendum to this how to: apparently there is no limit to the number of characters you can use in a phrase for a Custom Keyboard Shortcut, so they can work quite well for email signatures and other bits of typing you may do on a regular basis.