Apple’s new patent could put an end to autocorrect mistakes


Autocorrect is incredibly useful when it works, but when it doesn’t work, it can cause problems that are always annoying, often amusing, and occasionally horrifying. I’m sure we’ve all had to send the “Whoops, damn autocorrect” text at least once in our lives, probably numerous times, but Apple has a new patent that might be able to fix the problem. It’s actually a rather simple solution that highlights autocorrected words in the same way it highlights misspelled words in an effort to make the sender double check to make sure the correction is right, and even tells the recipient which words have been changed by autocorrect.

From a Scottish woman wanting the right words on a birthday cake to U.S. presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton, autocorrect doesn’t have many fans. Even though the feature started off with the best intentions — to automatically correct misspelled words you type with your smartphone — it has also led to hilarious, and sometimes offensive, fails. With its recently granted patent, Apple hopes to be the autocorrect saving grace people need. Normally, iOS underlines a misspelled word with a red line, in the hopes of making you aware of it. With the patent, iOS would also be able to underline an autocorrected word with a blue line, which, in theory, would make people pay attention to the words being autocorrected. Interestingly, the recipient would also be able to see that words had been changed, but wouldn’t be able to see the original words. This differs from the current feature baked into iOS, which doesn’t highlight misspelled words for recipients. Even so, such a feature is likely to be attractive for the meticulous typists among us, as well as for the faster typists. And the faster typists need all the help they can get, since it’s because people type so fast that they often ignore how words are spelled out, which is what leads to these autocorrect fails occurring in the first place.

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