Review: TextExpander Touch

September 8, 2009 in Reviews by Bob Faulhaber

One of the great time savers and productivity apps on the Mac is TextExpander. Using predefined shortcuts and abbreviations, TextExpander expands them into snippets or even full paragraphs. Now Smile On My Mac has brought that same functionality to the iPhone/iPod Touch with their app, called TextExpander Touch.

TextExpander Touch brings the same functionality and time savings to the iPhone, however due to Apple’s restrictions and iPhone architecture, TextExpander Touch operates slightly different from the desktop companion. The app uses it’s own editor/compose window, where you create your messages.

But, the app is not just a text editing application. It’s time savings ability comes from the ability to create text snippets and assign shortcuts or abbreviations for that text. As an example, you can define an abbreviation, such as “aaddr”, that contains your entire mailing address. So anytime you need to include that information, just type the abbreviation and the entire address will be expanded.

The app comes with a set of sample snippets that can be customized for your use, or you can create your own snippet groups.

Another great feature is the ability to sync your snippets from your desktop version of TextExpander to your iPhone, eliminating the need to manually recreate all your snippets.

So, what do you do once you’ve created your text in TextExpander Touch? The app allows you to send the information directly to the mail app, any twitter client or copy all the text to paste into an SMS message or any other app on the iPhone.

TextExpander Touch allows you to create and save your messages, so they can be reused as needed. Notes can be deleted at any time. Along with the ability to create different snippet groups, the app lets you keep your snippets organized, but does not restrict you from using any snippet from any group.

The Settings pane allows you to define parameters, such as text expansion, sharing, capitalization along with your preferred Twitter client.

If you are a user of the desktop version of TextExpander, then TextExpander Touch is a must have app for your iPhone. Granted, the Apple-imposed restrictions on background apps and the need to create notes directly in the TextExpander Touch app and then sending them or copying/pasting into your desired app takes a little getting used to. But, after a few minutes of use, I was quickly able to quickly work the app and start saving typing and time.