New In The App Store – Short Hand

On May 30, 2009

Here’s an app that is sure to get a good bit of use on my iPhone and Touch in the coming months.

Short Hand is a small utility that let’s you create and use macros in the same way that you do with application such as TextExpander lets you save time and keyboard clicks on a Mac.



From The Developer:

Type much faster on your iPhone or iPod touch by creating abbreviations — or "shortcuts" — that automatically insert frequently used words, phrases, or even whole paragraphs.

Let your iPhone or iPod touch do the typing for you.  For example, typing "cu" could automatically insert "see you later".  Or typing "adr" could insert your entire, 3-line mailing address, including line breaks.  "pb" could insert "Patrick L. Barry, MD, Ph.D."

Similar to AutoType on the BlackBerry, AutoText in Microsoft Word, and typing macros in many programs.
•  Create, modify, or delete an unlimited number of shortcuts •  Use shortcuts to insert frequently used words, phrases, or even multiple paragraphs •  Shortcuts can insert multiple lines, including line breaks •  Type using the vertical, portrait keyboard or the horizontal, landscape keyboard, which has larger keys that make typing easier and faster

O U R   T A K E . . .


The application loads quickly and initially presents you with a largely blank screen. It lets you write in both portrait and landscape! As you type it watches for key combinations that have previously been entered as macros. If that combination is inut and the space button is pressed it inputs the expaned text immediately.

In addition to pre-programmed macros you can add your own or edit the existing ones.

For example, "wwoip" followed by "space" now inputs whatsoniphone.

All of this is pretty much familiar since there have been other apps that did just this.



What makes this a bit different is that this app doesn’t add the functionality to creating email, OR creating a task OR creating a note OR creating a Tweet the way the developer’s other app, Wide Email does. Rather, it lets you compose a message, note, task or Tweet and then send it to some of the more popular productivity apps like Appigo’s Notebook and Todo and Twitterific.


That’s really what caught my eye. Since I use a number of those apps (in fact I do most of my writing on my iPhone in Notebook due to its stability, ease of use and automatic sync/backup with the Toodledo servers) it seemed like a natural. Now I can start the app, write what I want and send it to the app of my choice. In the process I will save dozens, it not hundreds of screen taps once I set up all my macros.

At $.99 this time saving app is, in my opinion, a steal!

Quick Take

Value: VERY high. The time saving and finger-wear-saving is worth the price of admission
Would I Buy Again: In two seconds
Learning Curve: Low. It is straight forward and easy to use
Who Is It For: Anyone who types more than a few words on an iPhone or Touch and who uses Mail, Todo, Notebook etc
What I Like: Works well. Landscape and portrait. Includeds important key app integration with more promised in the future
What I Don’t:  I would love to be able to export my macro library on one device and import it into another. This functionality does not yet exist in Short Hand.

Final Statement: Great app for making the iPhone an even more serious productivity device.

Get it HERE.