Apple Patent Could Make Autocorrect Gaffes a Thing of the Past

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Although the autocorrect feature found in Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS is supposed to eliminate a user’s typos, anyone who has ever hastily typed a message on a mobile device has probably experienced the annoyance of having a misspelled word replaced with an incorrect substitute. However, a recently published Apple patent uncovered by Apple Insider outlines a method that may make autocorrect blunders a thing of the past.

As noted by Apple in the patent background, although autocorrect can be a “great feature,” it also has many shortcomings in its current form. For example, the autocorrect feature often unintentionally changes words “based on simplistic grammar rules,” rather than the unique rules often found “in the mobile or instant messaging environment.”

In the patent titled, “Transient Panel Enabling Message Correction Capabilities Prior to Data Submission,” Apple describes an improved system for verifying autocorrect changes before the message is sent. Per the patent abstract, the system “allows a user an opportunity to make final corrections to textual data in a message after the user has instructed the device to send the message, but before transmittal of the message.”

Currently, the autocorrect feature on Apple’s iPhone only allows users to change autocorrected words before the message is sent. While this seems like a minor change, it is a vast improvement over the previous method, since it makes the reviewing step a seamless part of the messaging process.

Although the new method embeds the autocorrect review step into the overall messaging process, the step still remains unobtrusive, since it doesn’t require any action from the user. Per the abstract, “The opportunity is temporary, to avoid impeding the flow of communication, and the textual data is transmitted unmodified if the opportunity to modify it is not accepted.”

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