From The Tips Box: Phone Size, SMS Threads, Swype Shortcuts

From The Tips Box: Phone Size, SMS Threads, Swype Shortcuts

Readers offer their best tips for testing the convenience of large smartphones, splitting up large SMS threads, and quickly typing secondary characters in Swype.

About the Tips Box: Every day we receive boatloads of great reader tips in our inbox, but for various reasons — maybe they’re a bit too niche, maybe we couldn’t find a good way to present it, or maybe we just couldn’t fit it in — the tip didn’t make the front page. Got a tip of your own to share? Email it to tips at

Create a Fibreboard Phone to See if it Fits in Your Pocket

McMike shows us how he pocket-tests today’s large phones like the HTC EVO:

Moving to a larger smartphone is full of tough decisions. Will it do what I want? Will it be easy to use? What will the network coverage be like? How long will the battery last? All these answers can usually be found online with a little research. The one thing that you can’t research is if it will fit in your pocket. Will it work in slacks, jeans, shorts? Front pocket? Back pocket? What about on the motorcycle? It would be a shame to sign up for two years and dread carrying it around.

I am thinking about an EVO 4G, and read that it was 4.8″x2.6″x.5″. I had some half inch MDF (Medium-density fiberboard) in the workshop and spent the last week performing the “pocket test.”

Mark SMS Messages as Spam to Split up Unruly Threads in Google Voice

TheDharmatist ets us know how to contain out-of-control SMS threads:

If an SMS conversation is becoming to bulky in Google Voice, try marking it as spam. When the next text from that users comes in, it will break off into a new thread. Mark both conversations as not spam and then you can continue on from the new text without the delayed load time caused by the bulky thread.

Quickly Type Secondary Characters in Swype

Nicholas Barry shares another great shortcut for the Swype Android keyboard:

Swype tip (Android keyboard alternative): Does it bother you to press-and-hold to get a question mark, explanation point, hyphen, or apostrophe?

I just found out that by swyping from the question mark to the spacebar, you get a question mark and a space. Likewise with the explanation point the hyphen (above the comma), and the apostrophe (above the period).

Use Coloured Binder Clips to Organise Cables

Photo by Teo.

Steve.koehler shares another clever use for binder clips:

I tend to carry a lot of cables with me, and I tend to keep them in a repurposed pencil case. So to keep all of these cables from getting too tangled, I have started using binderclips to keep them wrapped. This has the double advantage of keeping the cables separated and giving you a way to label your cords should you want to. You could also get the different coloured binder clips to colour code your cables.

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