Apple’s autocorrect system, used most frequently in iPhones while texting, has been introducing annoying, sometimes hilarious, typos and grammatical errors. Here’s why.
I turned off autocorrect for a day and barely lived to tell the tale. Within minutes, it was clear how much the software is saving us from ourselves.
“But therein lies the rub,” Ken Kocienda, who created the iPhone’s autocorrect software, told me. “The more you ask it to do, the more potential there is for bugs and unexpected behaviors.”
Here’s what’s going on. When you type, the autocorrect algorithms are trying to figure out what you mean by looking at various things, including where your fingers landed on the keyboard and the other words in the sentences, while comparing your word fragment to the words in two unseen dictionaries:
•￼ Static Dictionary: Built into iOS, this contains dictionary words and common proper nouns, such as product names or sports teams. There were over 70,000 words in this when the first iPhone launched and it’s gotten bigger since then.
• Dynamic Dictionary: Built over time as you use your phone, this consists of words that are unique to you. The system looks at your contacts, emails, messages, Safari pages—even the names of installed apps.
It’s also where new words unique to your vocabulary get logged: By the third time you type an unknown word, the software will typically add it to the dynamic dictionary and stop trying to turn it into something different, said Mr. Kocienda and others.
MacDailyNews Take: Here’s hoping that iOS 16 has an “Autocorrect Undo Button” on its built-in keyboard (as third-party iOS keyboard Typewise offers)!
To fix recurring “Damn autocorrect!” issues on certain words, use Text Replacement. But, instead of using shortcuts to replace longer phrases, type the same word in both the Phrase and Shortcut fields.
- Settings > General > Keyboard > Text Replacement
• To add a text replacement, tap the Add button (+ icon), then enter your phrase and shortcut. Tap Save.
• To remove a text replacement, tap Edit, tap the Remove button (- icon) then tap Delete. To save your changes, tap Done.
Please help support MacDailyNews. Click or tap here to support our independent tech blog. Thank you!