Tag Archives: typinator

What the iPad needs is better keyboard shortcuts

Hi y’all!

It has been a while since I published anything here – I’ve been very busy with planet5D – tho I’m continuing to use my iPad daily! I’ve got a few updates to post and I’m determined to write more… so hopefully this won’t be such a quiet place.

I wrote this post a while ago (I think it was last fall on vacation) and never published it… however, we might be in luck – there was a mention in the iOS 5 presentation the other day about some kind of keyboard shortcuts. From a story on macrumors:

• Ability to create keyboard shortcuts (autotext) to replace custom phrases. The default entry is omw which is replaced with, On my way!

That’s exactly what Typinator does! Maybe we’re in luck!?

Here’s the original story I wrote:

Typinator is a program i have on my mac that i absolutely positively love and use hundreds if not thousands of times a day and i really miss it when working on the ipad. Typinator is a great utility that intercepts the keystrokes you type and compares them to it’s database to see if it should replace the text you typed with something else. For example, in a prior rant i may have mentioned how i think the ipad should replace ” i ” with ” I ” since everyone knows I should be capitalized. The ipad should know that too. In what other English speaking world does ” i ” not really mean ” I “?

Well, on my iMac, i don’t have to hit the shift key when i type i all by it’s lonesome self. That’s because Typinator does it for me! Typinator also does plenty of other things that i’m used to not typing myself any more (does that mean i’m lazy??? HA! Of course i am!) Like “i’m” becomes “I’m” and ipad becomes iPad and i don’t have to take the extra effort of hitting the shift key.

Now, where it really shines for me is in your own defined shortcuts. For example, i’ve asked Typinator to change ipad to iPad as a common thing to do… but it also let’s me do some amazing things that are much more involved. For example, i type “c5r” and Typinator puts in “Canon 5D Mark II (reviews)” and also embeds hyperlinks to my amazon affiliate and to the planet5D review site for the 5D2. It looks like this when I use the shortcut… “Canon EOS 5D Mark II (reviews)” — that’s obviously a lot to type and since my planet5D (another shortcut – ‘p5d’ = ‘planet5D’) blog is all about the Canon 5D, you can imagine I type it a lot! So typinator is saving me a lot of time.

Now, why can’t we do the same thing with the iPad? Apple? Are you listening? I should be able to go into a dictionary or application on the iPad that will let me create my own shortcuts. The iPhone/iPad software is already trying to interpret what I’ve typed to make spelling corrections/suggestions, why can’t it also do exactly what Typinator does?

I don’t believe anyone can write an application that will do this – Apple won’t let applications run full time in the foreground listening for keystrokes and it won’t work as a background application either. This has to be done by Apple!

Now THAT would make the iPad software stand out if you ask me.

planetMitch

Blogger’s disclaimer – I am not affiliated with Ergonis (maker of Typinator) nor do I get a commission from any sales (tho I would if I could LOL)

My iPad status

Ok, so now it has been about a month since the iPad hit my door (gee, it is actually longer than that isn’t it? My how time flies). And that means I need to really describe my usage of the iPad. I bought it to help be get away from the computer for longer periods of time (and my wife says “yea, get away from your computer with another computer – geek!”) – is it working?

Well, yes and no.

I am getting away from my iMac a bit, but because of some of the limitations of the iPad for writing blogs (see my comments on the WordPress iPad app post), and because of my love of typinator (a text replacement tool for the mac – more on that in a bit), I’m too addicted to the desktop and the keyboard for writing blog posts. It really still is more comfortable to work in front of the iMac full time.

I’m also currently still failing at time management – and tho I try to use Things for the iPad, I still just haven’t made the right workflow and stuck to it. I have stuff all over the place and way too many things to do. I’m better at organization (I think) but I have got to find a simple way to process all these things I have to do! (That will be a post all by itself)

Ok, overall, what are my iPad feelings?

I love it – but it isn’t done cooking yet. And Apple knows it and I can’t wait to see some of the improvements in 4.0.

I love the sexy feel of the iPad without a cover – (you’ll think I’m crazy or a perv about this one…) – at times, I take the iPad out of the Apple cover while I’m sitting watching TV or something and I’ll just caress it. It is like having one of those polished stones in your hand for fidgeting (and I’m a fidgeter — I constantly have something in my hands – you should see the little toys all around my desk that I pick up and toss around). But (and there’s always a ‘but’ right?), actually working with the iPad sitting in the TV chair requires something like the Apple cover because the iPad is too slick to hold comfortably. Especially if you like to sit with your knees elevated, you’ve got to have something less slick to hold the darn thing against your legs.

Another great use of the Apple iPad cover is that it fits perfectly over the dashboard (no not on my car – that would be silly!) of our elliptical exercise machine in the basement! And with the Netflix app, I can now watch TV episodes (there’s nothing like old “24” episodes to get your blood pumping while exercising! HA) or a movie while exercising. No need for a TV! And as an additional plus, the flap of the case folds over the back of the dashboard and holds the iPad firmly. I am worried that with headphones attached that I’ll yank it off the machine… so I firmly wrap the headphone cords around the handles on the machine.

Another great thing about the iPad is that I know I can travel and still know I have access to a large screen mobile device. As my experience showed me when I went to the NAB conference a few weeks ago, it isn’t perfect, but it is workable – and it will only get better. The biggest problem I had was the problems with the hotel internet and the WordPress learning curve. Now that I don’t have that day job any more – I sure don’t have to drag my windows laptop around. Tho, I can see that if/when I travel again, having a keyboard will be a must. I just type too fast with a keyboard as compared to the iPad virtual keyboard. The virtual keyboard can get me thru when needed, but I’m just too comfortable with a real keyboard. I’ve still got to think about the iPad camera connector – I may need it for long trips to offload images from my Canon EOS 5D Mark II.

I’m reading a bit more (tho sometimes that limited to reading in the smallest room in the house LOL). I have two books on the iPad and right now, I’m reading the “Four Hour Work Week” to try to learn how to free myself more. I also have a mystery novel that I’m working on. Tho I don’t drag myself away often enough to just read! It is all part of the learning how to blog full time that I’m trying to get used to.

Another thing that frustrates me – and so much so that I even wrote to Steve about it – is the lack of Flash. I know it is a lost battle and Apple will never put flash on the iPad/iPhone, but in my book, with all of the websites that still use flash to deliver content, it is unbearable that Apple/Steve are putting themselves in such a position. There are plusses and minuses to Flash, but not having it is a bigger detriment in my book than any bugs it could bring to the platform.

Ok, I’m going to focus on writing some individual posts on things like Typinator… I’ll be back in a bit (and no, it won’t be weeks this time – I’ve gotten so many of the ‘business’ things of becoming a full time blogger out of the way that I can actually write more!).

planetMitch

(Photo credit: “Blue in Black and White” by planetMitch (yes, I’m using my Canon EOS 5D Mark II to take stills too! HA))