Just the Facts...

Everything you always wanted to know about TypeIt4Me Touch…but were afraid to ask.

What is TypeIt4Me Touch? What does it do, exactly?

TypeIt4Me Touch is an iOS app for quickly composing notes, with built-in text expansion. Text expansion is essentially on-the-fly substitution of short typed abbreviations with longer ‘snippets’ of content, which can include lengthy words, phrases, boilerplate texts, or date/time stamps. When you type a custom shorthand abbreviation of your choosing, TypeIt4Me Touch will instantly replace it with a corresponding snippet that you’ve defined, without missing a beat.

While it can be used as a standalone app, TypeIt4Me Touch was designed as a simple mobile companion to TypeIt4Me for Mac. Text snippets created in the Mac TypeIt4Me app and stored in iCloud will be usable in TypeIt4Me Touch on your iPhone or iPad.

Find yourself typing the same phrases and paragraphs over and over? Build up a set of abbreviations and the full text snippets that they represent. TypeIt4Me Touch will save you time and keystrokes by automatically expanding them while you continue typing. As a bonus feature, it comes with a keyboard extension that you can quickly switch to when typing in any other app, so your longer snippets and boilerplate texts can always be just a couple of taps away.

What are the minimum hardware and iOS requirements for TypeIt4Me Touch?

The latest version of TypeIt4Me Touch requires at least an iPhone 4s or iPad 2 running iOS 8 or newer. The keyboard extension requires at least iOS 8. We strongly recommend updating your iOS to the most recent version available for your device.

What's new in TypeIt4Me Touch 3.0?

TypeIt4Me Touch 3.0 offers a keyboard extension you can easily switch to in order to access and expand your TypeIt4Me abbreviations in any app.

Please note, however, the TypeIt4Me experience won’t be quite the same as what you may be accustomed to on the Mac platform. The limited extensibility offered in iOS 8 and above does *not* allow us to seamlessly ‘hook in’ to the native keyboard the way we are able to on the Mac. The excellent corrective and predictive features of Apple’s QuickType are not available while the TypeIt4Me Touch keyboard is active. Your mileage may vary and you may find that to avoid making mistakes you need to take greater care when typing.

Can I use TypeIt4Me Touch 3.0 to replace the default Apple keyboard?

You can if you wish, but we don’t recommend it. TypeIt4Me Touch 3.0 is not intended for use as a permanent replacement for the built-in Apple keyboard. Ettore Software is not a multi-billion-dollar company with R&D resources to match those that went into producing Apple’s QuickType algorithms. Our TypeIt4Me keyboard extension is unlikely to speed up your regular typing the way its counterpart does on a Mac. Rather, TypeIt4Me Touch 3.0 is best viewed as an adjunct for use alongside the Apple keyboard (or indeed other third party offerings). You can temporarily call it up at the press of a key for convenient access to longer TypeIt4Me snippets (including those created on your Mac and stored in iCloud). It can be very useful when you need to quickly insert multiple lines of text or even multiple paragraphs, such as frequently used boilerplate emails.

How might I use TypeIt4Me Touch?

How you use TypeIt4Me Touch will depend on who you are and what you often find yourself writing. It’s popular with doctors, transcriptionists, lawyers, customer support teams, coders, journalists, authors and bloggers.

Things TypeIt4Me Touch can help you knock out more quickly include:

  • awkwardly lengthy / difficult-to-spell technical terms
  • boilerplate clauses for legal contracts
  • “Have you tried turning it off and on again?” IT support replies



How much does TypeIt4Me Touch cost?

TypeIt4Me Touch is available on the App Store for $4.99 (USD) / £4.99 / 5,49€.

How do I share snippets across my iPhone, iPad and Mac?

If you move one or more snippet sets to iCloud, they will be available on all your iCloud-enabled iOS devices straight away. TypeIt4Me 6.x.x for Mac and The Mac App Store version of TypeIt4Me (5.4.8) also include native iCloud support, so they’ll show up there, too.

If you purchased TypeIt4Me for Mac directly from our website, syncing with your iDevices via iCloud is not available in version 5.5.x and other older versions, as until recently Apple would only permit apps sold via its App Store to use iCloud. The good news,  though, is iCloud sync with iOS is now supported in TypeIt4Me 6.0 on the Mac. If you haven’t updated already…please do!

What does iCloud support mean? Do I need it?

iCloud support in TypeIt4Me Touch just means you can decide to store your abbreviations and snippets in iCloud for sharing with your other iPhones or iPads running the TypeIt4Me Touch iOS app, as well as any Macs running versions 5.4.8 or 6.0 of  TypeIt4Me for Mac. If you only use one iDevice and you don’t use TypeIt4Me on your Mac, then there is no added benefit and you don’t really need to use iCloud.

If I want to sync my TypeIt4Me snippets with a Mac via iCloud, do I have to buy TypeIt4Me from the Mac App Store?

Not any more. For  a long time, Apple would only permit apps sold through the Mac App Store to make use of iCloud syncing. As a result, up to version 5.5.3, the “direct sale” version of TypeIt4Me could not sync with iOS devices. This limitation now no longer applies and TypeIt4Me 6.x.x can sync with its iOS cousin like a champ.

Can I use TypeIt4Me Touch 3.0 with an external keyboard?

When typing within the TypeIt4Me Touch notepad app itself, yes, you can use a physical hardware keyboard accessory. However, like other third party keyboards, the TypeIt4Me Touch keyboard extension that you can bring up inside other apps will only work when you type directly on the screen. This is a limitation of the iOS platform.

What exactly is a snippet?

The term “snippet” refers to the full text that TypeIt4Me Touch will automatically insert at the cursor when any given abbreviation is expanded.

How long can the contents of a snippet be?

Snippets (i.e. the text that is typed when you type an abbreviation and a trigger) can be up to 32,000 characters long.

Will TypeIt4Me Touch expand snippets that contain pictures / AutoCue placeholders?

Not yet, sorry. We do hope to offer something close to feature parity with the Mac app eventually, but that will likely take us quite a while to achieve.

Why does TypeIt4Me Touch sometimes have trouble expanding snippets correctly?

If you have auto-correct and / or auto-capitalisation switched on in your main iOS settings, this can interfere with TypeIt4Me Touch expansion. If you find that some of your snippets are coming out garbled, with part of the snippet being repeated, try turning auto-correct and auto-capitalisation off in Settings > General > Keyboard.

What are snippet sets?

In TypeIt4Me, a snippet “set” is a file that contains a group of TypeIt4Me snippets. These sets are a way for you to organise and keep different groups or types of snippets separate, if you’re so inclined.

Why have many different snippet sets?

Many people use just a single set containing all of their snippets and that’s perfectly fine. Others like to switch between several different sets, each suited to a particular context. Here are a few examples of how you might use sets:

  • Switch between an “Office set” and a “Home set”.
  • Maintain a secondary “Spanish snippets” set for when you’re typing in that language.
  • Keep a separate “Code snippets” set that you only use when you’re programming.

By design, only one set can be active at a time; this is to prevent conflicts in cases where you might want the same abbreviation to expand to something different depending on which set you’re using. For instance, you might have a nec abbreviation that expands to necessity when your “English snippets” set is active and to necesidad when “Spanish snippets” is active.

Can I activate more than one snippet set at once, like on the Mac TypeIt4Me?

Not yet. The TypeIt4Me Touch iOS app still has some catching up to do with its Mac cousin. For the moment, only one snippet set can be active at a time. If you use multiple active sets on your Mac and you want to be able to use all their snippets in TypeIt4Me Touch without switching back and forth between sets, there is a workaround. You could copy all of their snippets into a single master set and keep it stored in iCloud, for use in TypeIt4Me Touch.

Any plans to offer more non-QWERTY layouts in the keyboard extension?

We’re working on it, yes.

Why pay for TypeIt4Me Touch when I can use the iOS keyboard shortcuts feature for free?

On the face of it, it may appear to some that TypeIt4Me Touch merely replicates functionality already present in iOS, but this is not the case. While the rudimentary native text expansion facility that Apple introduced in iOS 5 can be very helpful – particularly for people who feel they’ll make only occasional use of a handful of short abbreviations – it does not offer the same level of sophistication that you will find in TypeIt4Me Touch. The two operate on the same underlying principle so naturally there is some overlap in their core functionality, but beyond the similarity of the basic mechanics they are quite different.

It can be argued that iOS keyboard shortcuts are primarily suitable for quickly writing something relatively short. In contrast, the real value of TypeIt4Me Touch lies in the fact that it’s specifically designed for drafting (and re-using) longer notes and to make it easier to manage perhaps thousands of text snippet abbreviations while automatically keeping these in sync across multiple devices. Furthermore, unlike iOS shortcuts, TypeIt4Me Touch snippets can incorporate carriage returns (allowing several paragraphs to be generated at a keystroke) and can automatically insert sophisticated, highly customisable date and time stamps. They can also be grouped and organised into separate sets for use in different contexts. It’s also worth noting that if you’ve been using TypeIt4Me on a Mac for a while it’s nice to be able to port 25 years’ worth of accumulated abbreviations over to your iDevices with very little effort. We’d go crazy if we had to manually recreate all of our TypeIt4Me abbreviations one by one in the cramped iOS keyboard settings pane.

To summarise: iOS keyboard shortcuts and TypeIt4Me Touch do similar things but one does not render the other redundant. They actually complement each other rather nicely. The keyboard shortcuts feature built into iOS is a helpful tool – you’ll most likely continue to use it for firing off quick notes, filling in forms in Safari and such. We do, all the time. When you need more functionality, however, TypeIt4Me Touch will cater to your power user needs. We worked long and hard to bring it to you and we’re charging a modest price for it to reflect the effort that went into its development.

Is TypeIt4Me Touch a keylogger? Is it a safety risk? Is it spying on me?

Don’t worry, TypeIt4Me Touch is not a keylogger in the scary sense. While it does have to log keystrokes to do its job, these keystrokes are never saved or sent anywhere. Moreover, TypeIt4Me Touch empties its cache every time you press the spacebar. Thus, TypeIt4Me Touch hardly ever remembers more than 20 characters of what you most recently typed. Using TypeIt4Me Touch should not compromise your privacy.

Why doesn't TypeIt4Me Touch for iOS 5 /6 /7 include a keyboard extension so I can expand my abbreviations in any app?

We’d love to be able to offer this, but unfortunately it’s out of our hands. Up to and including iOS 7, Apple places strict limits on how third party apps can interact with each other, effectively obliging them to remain self-contained. For this reason, TypeIt4Me Touch versions 1 and 2 and other pre-iOS 8 text expanders can’t include keyboards that are accessible within other apps. If you can’t upgrade your device to iOS 8 and download TypeIt4Me Touch 3.0 then the workaround we suggest is to compose notes using your expanding abbreviations inside TypeIt4Me Touch, then copy and paste the text into other apps. Don’t forget, it is possible to send notes directly as emails without leaving the TypeIt4Me app – and you can easily tweet them or send them as iMessages, too. That’s the best we can do.

Why don't you have an answer to my question?

Feel free to email it to support@ettoresoftware.com and we’ll do our best to answer it (but be aware that at busy times, we may not be able to reply for several days).

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