Developer: Gary Fung
Price: $0.99 Download on the App Store
No doubt about it: Entering text into Apple's versatile and ubiquitous handheld is its biggest shortcoming. It takes practice — and lots of it — for most folks to master the keyboard, especially in portrait mode, without hunting and pecking.
Gary Fung's Typing Genius features exercises aimed at improving your text-entry skills. You have options for practicing basic right thumb-left thumb tapping, intermediate skills with numbers and punctuation, and advanced skills with numbers, punctuation and symbols. The typing tutor also has skill sets basic on popular words, phrases and sentences.
Typing Genius, has been around for a while. We reviewed it last November and rated it highly. This latest iteration has been updated so you can easily enable emojis or emoticons for text, whether you're sending emails or text messages.
Prior to the 2.2 firmware update, getting emojis into your iPhone was a bit of a song and dance. You either had to jailbreak your device or import a vcard.vcf into your address book and do some additional fiddling.
Implementing the emoji function is simpler now because it's a feature in the Japanese version of the firmware, or depending how you look at it, a hidden feature in the U.S. firmware.
To enable emojis, launch Typing Genius-Get Emoji and close the app. Then go to Settings > General > Keyboard > International Keyboards > Japanese and slide the switch next to Emoji. The next time you pop up a keyboard, you'll see a Globe icon next to the space bar. Tap that and you're good to go.
In his app description, Fung says his app will enable emojis on all versions of the iPhone and iPod touch with version 2.0 firmware and up. I tried it with my 2.2 iPhone and it worked fine.
However, there's no need to buy Typing Genius-Get Emoji if emojis are all you're after and you have version 2.2 firmware. Download Spell Number-Emoji for Free, which is free (pretty obvious). Launch the app, close it and follow the above instructions.