It might be easy to send text messages if you’ve got a Siri-equipped iPhone 4S, but for those of you rocking non-iPhone 4S iOS devices, texting (and iMessaging) can be a bit of a drag. Fortunately, Apple has made the process easier in iOS 5 by adding “Shortcuts.” These allow users to create text shortcuts and have the iOS add them into a text message, email or status update when users type the preset shortcut text.

You can add shortcuts in iOS 5 by launching the Settings app, and navigating to “General” and then “Keyboard.” Here, you’ll see the below screen – at the bottom of this screen is a “Shortcuts” section, which includes a button marked “Add New Shortcut…”

"Add New Shortcut" is right at the bottom of this screen

Adding new shortcuts is simple and easy. All you need to do is choose the phrase you want to create a shortcut for, and decide on a suitable shortcut. For example, you could configure “gtg” to add in “got to go,” and “ttyl” to add “talk to you later.”

Importantly, you can also use shortcuts to add words to the iOS dictionary. If you often use a word that the handset annoyingly autocorrects, add it in and your life will be easier.

If you have any questions, feel free to post them in the comments. Remember, shortcuts can only be created on mobile devices running iOS 5.

[Thanks to Kane Lai for the tip!]