Some may see it as a bit of a novelty while other’s will see it as a massive time saver.
Apple’s OS X Snow Leopard (and now Lion) operating system on Mac introduced the concept of symbol and text substitutions which are more commonly used for auto correction.
An example of this is where typing ‘teh‘ in any OS X app will automatically correct itself to ‘the‘. This is no coincidence and now this awesome feature has been ported over to iOS 5.
Simply called Shortcuts, Apple have hidden this away in the keyboard settings for now.
It can serve many purposes such as a regular user dictionary (about time eh) where you can add your own words so the keyboard recognizes a particular word or phrase immediately.
It’s most intended use however is where a user can enter a shortcut for a longer phrase. The default example given in iOS 5′s beta is OMW which is a shortcut for On My Way!, a commonly used phrase in SMS but it can be used for anything.
The other use for Shortcuts is of course what it’s used for mostly in Mac OS X which is to autocorrect commonly misspelled words unique to you. I, for example, commonly mistype words ending in ‘ate‘ such as ‘separate’ – normally I type ‘separaet‘….I’m not quite sure why…
Here’s how to configure a Shortcut on iOS 5:
1. Tap Settings > General > Keyboard
2. Tap Add New Shortcut…
3. In the Phrase field, enter what you want the shortcut translated into, e.g., ‘On My Way!’
4. In the Shortcut field, enter the letters you’d like to type to get the phrase to appear, e.g., ‘OMW’
5. Tap Save
This has been tested with joy on iOS 5 on an iPhone 3GS.