For better Android typing: SwiftKey 3

One area the iPhone has held its own against Android phones I've used is the responsiveness of the touch-screen keyboard. But one area where I think Android has shown more innovation better predictive typing. Which is why I was happy to see the release of SwiftKey 3 today.

The software one-ups the predictive typing abilities of Android's built-in keyboard, learning from your own typing to offer not just the next letters in a word, but also the next word, too. Hitting the spacebar completes the action. (When you start typing, the first word it suggests is "I,&… Read more

SwiftKey 3 Beta: The best Android keyboard I've seen

SwiftKey 3 Beta, the newest version of the incredibly popular Android replacement keyboard, is now available to SwiftKey's VIP Community members. And from what I've seen so far, it is something for the public to be excited about.

If you're not familiar with SwiftKey, it is a Google Play Editors' Choice app, and it won the coveted Most Innovative App award at this year's Global Mobile Awards in Barcelona, Spain. What sets it apart from other replacement keyboards is its ability to understand not just patterns in your typing, but also how words work together. This … Read more

How to access a hidden autocorrect keyboard bar in IOS 5

Apple iOS 5 users can now hack into a hidden autocorrect keyboard bar, courtesy of a few steps revealed by the folks at 9to5Mac.

When the feature is enabled, you type the first few characters of a word, and then the keyboard displays a bar with a list of suggested complete words. Such an option has long been available on Android devices, but has yet to see the light of day in iOS--at least officially.

Thanks to research done by self-proclaimed hacker and 9to5Mac researcher Sonny Dickson, anyone running iOS 5 on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch can now … Read more

All the Web's a stage

Opera Mini 6.5 brings this version of the alternative browser to iOS devices (version 6.5 has been available for Android for three weeks at the time of this review). We have had a chance to put the slimmed-down browser through its paces and it offers several features we think users will like. With the right tweaks, it may even become the favorite over Apple's Safari--if people are willing to give it a try.

The clean, elegant interface hides multiple useful features, with only five buttons to choose from, along with the address bar and search box. The … Read more

How to add auto-correct to Gmail in Chrome

Wish you could harness the power of a smartphone's auto-correction technique in Gmail on the Web? Now you can. ezAutoCorrect for Gmail is a new Chrome extension that will correct some of your most common spelling errors. While the dictionary is relatively limited for now, it will fix some of your most frequest mistakes. The correction process requires no input from you--meaning no more right-click dictionary madness for your typos any longer!

Open Chrome and head to ezAutoCorrect for GMail in the Chrome Web Store. Now click on Add to Chrome, and wait for the extension to install … Read more

How Google Docs won me over

With a single new feature added to its online word processor yesterday, Google has diminished many concerns I had about taking the cloud-computing plunge a few months ago.

That feature, autocorrect in Google Docs, fixes common typos such as converting "teh" into "the." In and of itself, it's not a game-changer.

But it carried outsized importance for me because it was one of the things I missed most about Microsoft Word and because it gives me faith that Google Docs is headed in the right direction.

As if to validate my new optimism, Google today announced an improvement that's much larger than a single feature: the ability to edit Google Docs from Android phones, iPhones, and iPads. Google Spreadsheets already were editable with some mobile phone browsers.

Google Docs, which has grown considerably since Google's 2006 acquisition of Writely, consists mainly of word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation modules that compete with Microsoft Office's Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. It's become a standard-bearer for the Web applications movement and, with Google selling it in premium form along with Gmail for $50 per user per year in the form of Google Apps, Google's next billion-dollar revenue stream after advertising. … Read more

Words activate

ActiveWords is a nifty free program that does seven useful things when you type key words or letter combinations and hit the space bar. In fact, the developers believe program's seven categories make up the 80 percent of computing tasks in the 80/20 paradigm: Substitute Text, Launch a Program, Open a Document, Navigate to an Internet Site, Send E-Mail, Open a Folder, and Scripting. You specify your ActiveWords using quick, easy commands, and then associate the words with one of the seven tasks via simple wizards. It lets you create easy-to-remember shortcuts that do what you need most … Read more

New Review: Typinator

Do you make the same typing mistakes over and over? A lot of people have trouble with certain words, and even though they know the correct spelling, just can't seem to train themselves to type those words correctly.

Typinator for Mac automatically corrects your most often-made mistakes, and works system-wide so you'll never have to worry about those pesky words again. What's more, Typinator can autofill e-mail addresses and other frequently used phrases using user-designated abbreviations.

Check out our new review of Typinator to see why it just might be the time-saving typing tool you've been … Read more

Transfer AutoCorrect settings to a new PC

If you create custom AutoCorrect entries to speed up your typing in Microsoft Word as I described on Monday, you might need to move those entries to another PC someday.

Years ago, Dave Rado wrote a Word macro for backing up and restoring the program's AutoCorrect files. It still works for Word 2007--or at least it did on my PC.

First, make sure macros are enabled. In Word 2003, click Tools > Macro > Security > Security Level, and select either of the bottom two options. In Word 2007, click the Office button, choose Word Options > Trust Center &… Read more

Put Office's AutoCorrect feature to work for you

If I had a nickel for every time I've typed the word "Microsoft," and another two cents for each occasion I've had to enter "Windows," I just might own the dang company by now.

I'll bet you've got your own list of terms you've typed so often you can barely see the letters on their keys anymore. But there's no need for you to spell them out each time you need to use them. Just enter them once in the AutoCorrect dialog box in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and other … Read more