6 Tips for taming your iPhone’s autocorrect feature.
The iPhone’s autocorrect is notoriously frustrating and unreliable, producing sometimes hilarious, sometimes baffling and occasionally helpful results. Since the iPhone was released and users started realizing that its autocorrect might be more of a hindrance than a help, the internet has been buzzing with the question: how do you improve your iPhone’s autocorrect?
Reset the dictionary
Some of the most irritating autocorrect errors come from mistyping a word once, then having that word appear repeatedly, even though it’s the wrong spelling. If this is one of the major causes behind your iPhone autocorrect grief, you can reset the dictionary back to its factory settings, removing any custom words autocorrect has saved in the meantime.
To reset your iPhone’s dictionary and cure your mistyped autocorrect woes, go to “Settings” -> “General” -> “Reset” -> “Reset dictionary”.
Remember this will reset your iPhone’s entire dictionary, so if you’ve spent a lot of time training your iPhone to recognize other customized words, you might want to try another fix.
Type the words you want to add into Safari
Back in 2009, Ars Technica published an article claiming that the path to overcoming iPhone autocorrect issues lies with Safari. Instead of using other apps, like Notes, to try and change a wayward autocorrect feature, they suggested it’s much more effective to type words you want autocorrect to recognize into the search bar of Safari’s mobile browser.
Admittedly, this fix is from 2009, back when the iPhone was on version 2.something and the autocorrect was a lot worse than it is now. If your autocorrect is running wild, however, and manually correcting its suggestions in other apps doesn’t seem to be helping, it won’t hurt to try.
Add words to your address book
This iPhone autocorrect fix is an old favorite if you have the time and patience (and don’t mind random entries cluttering up your contacts list) because it works. Simply create a new address book entry, and list all the words you want autocorrect to recognize in the “Name” field.
Add new words to dictionary
iOS 5 came with two new ways to teach autocorrect new words. One of these involves adding the word to your iPhone’s dictionary.
To do this, tap “Settings” -> “General” -> “Keyboard” and scroll down to “Shortcuts”.
Tap “Add new shortcut”, then type the word you want to add to the dictionary in the box marked “Phrase”. Tap “Save”, and you should find that not only does autocorrect leave you alone when you enter that word, but it also suggests it as an alternative if you spell it wrong in the future.
Two apps can help you train your autocorrect: AutoCorrector app works with non-hacked iPhones, and ManualCorrect Pro operates on jailbroken devices.
AutoCorrector allows you to add custom works to your iPhone’s dictionary so they are recognized and suggested by the autocorrect. You can also add list of short-hand words you use in text messages. The app doesn’t recognize all words – certain swear words are off-limits, however it’s an easy way to train your iPhone to behave.
ManualCorrect Pro is available through the Cydia store and works on jailbroken iPhones. The app switches some of the autocorrect features, so that you have to tap on the autocorrect bubble for it to be activated. The app also contains the ability to turn on autocorrect features for correct punctuation, and correct capitalization. Like AutoCorrector, you can create your own list of custom shortcuts.
Both apps are available for $0.99.
The second way of improving iOS 5′s autocorrect comes from developer Sonny Dickson, who has exploited a hidden feature that allows you to choose from a selection of autocorrect words, improving the accuracy of corrections. This feature is similar to that found on Android phones, and users have reported mixed results. If you have some coding knowledge, however, and don’t mind spending a few minutes unlocking the feature, you can change the way your autocorrect works.
The following instructions are from Dickson’s website:
1. Download iBackupBot
2. Backup your iPhone/iPod in iTunes
3. Open iBackupBot and find the backup, then load it.
4. Find Library/Preferences/com.apple.keyboard.plist and open the file. (if your software isn’t registered you’ll have to press cancel and then it will open)
5. Add in the following code: <key>KeyboardAutocorrectionLists</key><string>YES</string>
6. Save your modifications, and then restore from backup from within iBackupbot.