Patent Hints How Apple Could Make iPhone’s Autocorrect Less Annoying

BY Sanuj Bhatia

Published 6 Apr 2021

iPhone X Keyboard 1

A new patent hints that Apple is working on ways to fix one of the most annoying things of the iPhone — autocorrect. Future iOS keyboard may predict misspelled words, and delete those words on the fly with very little user intervention.

iOS’s keyboard has been the same for quite a while now, well mostly. It has gained a few features here and there, like Slide to Type with iOS 14, shrinking keyboard with iOS 13, but it has mostly been the same. A patent granted to Apple today will further improve the iOS keyboard by quickly removing the mistyped part of the word.

This is how the feature is supposed to work: let’s say you mistype a word in a sentence. Instead of deleting the whole word, like iOS currently does when you hit backspace, the keyboard will identify where the mistyping started, and then delete only the part where the error started from.

For e.g., you type a message “This is a test of new keybiard.” iOS will automatically detect that there was an error in typing the word ‘keyboard’, and now even without you having to tap the delete key, the input box will change to “This is a test of new keyb” waiting for you to do the correction and complete the sentence.

ios keyboard patent

“After a user inputs a sequence of characters, an error may be identified being in the middle of the sequence of characters. Currently, a user can correct the entire sequence of characters via an auto-correction function, which sometimes fails to provide replacement words that accurately reflect what the user intends to input.

What is needed in the art are methods and systems that allows a user to efficiently delete characters corresponding to an input error and restart/continue inputting characters.”

The patent describes approaches such as decision trees and other artificial intelligence algorithms for this to work. The feature would rely on your iPhone’s neural engine to do the calculations, as the patent describes. The feature does sound pretty good and might fix the annoying autocorrect we’ve been living with for years.

How has your experience been with your iPhone’s keyboard? Do you use the stock keyboard on your iPhone, or do you rely on third-party keyboards? What do you think about the feature discussed in this patent? Let us know in the comments section below!