Type It Out: Text Messaging Tips for the iPhone 3Gs

Text messaging has been both an area of joy and problems for
iPhone users even from the earliest model. 
Part of this reason comes from the development of new features modeled
after Instant Messaging and a keyboard that is regulated entirely inside of the
touch screen.  To deal with that you have
to know you way around both the specific text message functions of the iPhone,
as well as how to deal with the keyboard in general.  Here are some tips to make your texting a
little less painful on your iPhone 3Gs.

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The general consensus for most new iPhone users is that the
keyboard itself is a little difficult to get used to.   The first tip that new users should follow
is to tip their iPhone on its side.  This
will shift the perspective during text messaging to the horizontal Landscape
view and give a much larger and more accessible keyboard.  This makes the transition from traditional
text messaging to this new touch keyboard a little easier.

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Copy and Paste is a newer feature on the iPhone 3Gs that
makes text messaging just that much easier. 
This Copy and Paste feature is fairly self explanatory, so when you find
a text block you simply hold your finger down on it until a Copy button comes
up.  Select that Copy button to get that
text block saved for Paste.  Then when
you are in the empty message entry queue you can just hold your finger down
until you get the Paste button.  Select
Paste and the text will then appear in the blank spot.  You can easily copy and paste from other text
messages, Contacts, or online from Safari.

 

Typing out still is a little difficult with this new
keyboard, which is why text messages should likely continue to remain
short.  The main reason that this
institution should be maintained in this way is that you have the email option
available to you right on your base command bar, which means that longer
messages are just easier for use in email. 
Your Contacts List should not just include people's phone numbers, but
should be an entire profile for them and their information.  This should include phone number, website,
address, and, yes, email.  This way you
can easily just choose to hit them up through email instead of the traditional
text message.

 

The original iPhone forced you to have a constant record of
your text message conversations between specific users.  The only way to make it so a few text
messages could not be seen by outsiders was to clear out the entire thing,
which looked a little suspicious.  Now
you can easily just delete specific messages from your text message
history.  Open up their text message
communication and select the Edit button in the upper right hand corner.  Now you will be able to select specific
messages, giving them a red check mark. 
Below you will be given two options, to Delete or to Forward.  You can go through and select all the
specific text messages you want to delete from your iPhone and then choose to
Delete or Forward them right from there. 
If you still want to clear the entire history you can now also hit the Clear
All button in the upper left hand corner. 
Another easy way to clear out an entire text message conversation is to
locate that conversation in the regular Messages areas without opening it.  Then you can just swipe your finger across
it, which will bring up a Delete button. 
You can then just select to delete the entire text message conversation
from your iPhone.

 

To truly customize your iPhone's text messaging you can
easily go and change its settings.  Go
into the iPhone Settings option and then once there go down to the third block
of options.  Here you can select
Messages, which is below Safari and above iPod. 
In the Messages Settings you can turn off the Preview option, which
shows you the text message right when it comes in from your opening
screen.  You can also turn off the Repeat
Alert, which tells you again that the text message came in if you do not go in
and check it. Another setting that is always set to yes is the MMS Messaging,
which is the new multimedia picture and video messaging service.  This used to be restricted on the iPhone, but
now is a standard part of media communication. 
You will likely never want to turn off MMS messaging, but Repeat Alert
can be annoying an intrusive.

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If you do not have unlimited text messaging on your AT&T
account then you are going to be in financial trouble.  To try and get around this you need to
circumvent your text messaging need with other functions.  There are so many Instant Messaging services
available through the iTunes' App Store including AIM, MSN, and the
increasingly popular Meebo.  These allow
you to continue text messaging through these services without using the normal
text messaging channel.  If you set these
to have 'Push' notifications then they will act almost exactly like regular
text messaging and allow you to save money.  Email is also a free text messaging option,
especially if the other user has email linked to their phone.

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