From the NY Times today a couple of hints on how to make things easier when writing on the iPhone or iPad.
When you are typing words and need to switch over to numbers or symbols or other punctuation marks and get weary of touching the .?123 box and back again to letters, try this: press the .?123 key down and slide your finger to the number or punctuation mark you need. Once you slide over and select the character, you can resume typing without having to tap back and forth between the different keyboards.
Cool, eh? It works!
Pressing and holding down a vowel or other letters that use accent marks reveals a pop-up list of accented characters to choose from, like é or ü.
Quickly tapping the shift key twice will allow you to type in all caps. Only in iPhone 5 that I can tell.
Access all sorts of smileys, animals, shapes, and other peculiarities from your emoji-enabled keyboard. Just go to Settings > General > Keyboard and tap International Keyboards. Add a new keyboard and select Emoji. Now when you type, just tap the globe button and choose the emoji that fits the mood.