Developer: Patrick Barry
Price: $0.99 Download on the App Store
Short Hand by LizzardWerks was recently released in the App Store as a productivity app that lets you create shortcuts for words, phrases, and even paragraphs that you frequently use in communication. Essentially, you can create your own customized short hand dictionary and then export the text from Short Hand to other frequently used apps like Mail.
While I’m a fan of efficiency, I could never understand why every text message I ever received from my teenage son contained stupid acronyms and lingo that weren’t really words. Once upon a time it really bothered me to the point of chastising him for not using proper English. Then, I became a text-savvy parent and started to realize that in addition to it being a way to bypass the various per-text character limitations imposed by different carriers, it was really just a time-saver.
With Short Hand, you get the best of both worlds. Assigning a shortcut or acronym so to speak for whatever frequently used word or phrase you need, you increase productivity by saving time and still convey an intelligent message. The only extent I’ve taken Short Hand to so far is to assign simple shortcuts for a signature, address, and other short phrases and tested them out with email. If you took the time, you could create entire documents though. You have the ability to use line breaks by adding double commas and you can save, edit, and delete as many shortcuts as you want.
To send a complete message from Short Hand to Mail, or any other compatible third party application, you have to be using Short Hand first. Then it will send your Short Hand draft to the application. Currently, Short Hand is limited in compatibility with only Mail, Twitterrific, Tweetie, Appigo Notebook, and Appigo Todo, but the developer has stated there are more apps to come. Of course, you have to have said apps downloaded to your device for it to work.
While I can imagine there is a select audience where the use of Short Hand would be indispensable - I’m thinking mostly business professionals, teachers, and such — anyone who regularly communicates via Mail from their device could certainly find a use for it. Short Hand is both intuitive and simple to use, requires little explanation, and delivers a composed draft right to Mail quickly and efficiently.
Short Hand's ability to deliver content to multiple apps is what sets it apart as a truly useful little program. Like an iPhone stylus, it's a "must-have" app for anyone who does a lot of typing on their iPhone or iPod touch.