A new competitor for TextExpander?
Price: $1.99 / $1.49
Size: 2.2 MB
QuickKey a recent addition to the App Store, aims to make it a lot easier to write using the iPhone’s on-board virtual keyboard. It does this through utilizing snippets: common, user-defined phrases that are saved into the QuickKey app for lightning-fast recall. But is QuickKey worth its $1.99 (and soon-to-be $3.99) price tag? Let’s find out.
Snippets are created in the app and can be inputted using its third-party keyboard, which can be accessed using the small globe icon (in the bottom-left corner of the iOS default keyboard). From here, your snippets will be available to view and input with just a couple of taps.
The application separates snippets into six defined categories: favorites, names, usernames, emails, addresses, and phrases. In the QuickKey keyboard, these categories are displayed as tabs along the bottom of the user interface (UI).
Creating snippets is simple: all you need to do is pick a category, and type in the required text. For an address, this will be the street name, city, and country (if you wish). For an email address, on the other hand, this will simply be the address itself. It’s all fairly straight forward and uncomplicated.
Of course, you’ll need to summon the QuickKey keyboard using the globe button (here, you can either tap to cycle through all of your active keyboards, or you can long-press on the globe to select QuickKey from a list of your installed keyboards).
Each category has its own icon, though these are a little on the small size, making it easy to tap the wrong category when choosing. Fortunately, tapping on an actual snippet is much easier; the QuickKey keyboard also provides access to a delete button, just in case you need to remove something you’ve inputted on your handset.
As an iOS app, QuickKey stands in direct competition against the $4.99 TextExpander, the original snippet-creation app from the folks at Smile Software. TextExpander, unlike QuickKey, allows users to type in snippets which are “expanded” into words, phrases, or entire paragraphs of text. Usefully, a software development kit (SDK) also allows third-party developers to incorporate support for TextExpander within their own apps, making Smile’s software more of a universal offering. Better still, Dropbox and iCloud support allow users to sync their snippets between iOS and a desktop computer.
Although QuickKey is a decent enough app and works well, we’d nevertheless recommend TextExpander to iPhone owners looking for a snippet keyboard for iOS. Smile Software’s application is more fully featured and the price difference between the two apps will be far less once QuickKeyboard’s price tag is hiked to $3.99.