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Insert Geographical Data Into An Android Text Field With Inserty

Application Name: Inserty

Description: Inserts user-definable text snippets into Android text fields; these text snippets can include GPS-derived data.

Publisher’s website: Room.404

Cost: Free

Version/date reviewed: v. 1.3.10  /  10-18-10

Phone/OS: Droid X / Android 2.2


Android Market link (mobile app only)
Android Market link (browser)

Inserty lets you create a list of pre-defined text snippets that you can insert into any text field. These snippets can be simple, unchanging bits of text, but you can also include geographically-related data in the snippets updated automatically from your GPS position:

  • Address
  • Street
  • Postal Code
  • State
  • City
  • Country
  • Position Coordinates
  • Latitude
  • Longitude
  • Accuracy
  • Time
  • Date
  • Google Maps link
  • Altitude
  • Current clipboard contents

Inserty can be used in two different modes: As a stand-alone app that can send snippets to other Android apps, or as an alternate text entry option (like an alternate keyboard option). You’ll likely use the stand-alone app at least occasionally, since that’s where you can delete current snippet options, and create your own.


Figure 1: In app mode, it will open with a list of available snippets; the view at left shows the default ones that come with the app. You can delete any of these, move them up or down in the list, and perform other operations with a long tap on any of them. A short tap will bring up the option to send the text snippet to another app (notepad, Facebook, email, etc.).


Figure 2: From the main menu, you can add a text snippet of your own definition. Type unchanging text into the text box; use the “Insert tag” button to select variable text blocks (location, time, date, etc.) as “tags” that will be inserted in the snippet on the fly.


Figure 3: You can also use Inserty by invoking it as an alternate input method; to use it this way, you’ll have to enable it as an alternate keyboard in the Settings section of your Android unit. Once enabled, you can pull it up by a long press in a text field, selecting “Input method”, then choosing “Inserty” from the box shown at left. You’ll get a “Quick Inserty” selection …


Figure 4: … with your options listed. Select one, the text will be inserted into the text field, and you’ll be prompted to switch back to the keyboard method you normally use.
Other issues:

The first time you use Inserty after a long period of time without a GPS fix, it may take a couple of minutes to get a location fix that will allow Inserty to update the position-related tags. You can speed this up by getting a good position fix before starting to take notes. I also wish that Inserty were available as a service you could access from the Android status bar; having to start up the app, or going through multiple steps to use it in “Input method” mode, can be inconvenient at times. I also wish it had the option to display your current compass or GPS heading direction.

Final thoughts:

Not always as convenient to use as I’d like, but Inserty is a useful utility to have for note-taking apps that don’t have the option to include position data; not bad as a “boilerplate” utility, either. Recommended.

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