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Apple could tell you when autocorrect destroys a text message

As AppleInsider reports, Apple filed a patent last year that details how it could flag applied autocorrects to the sender and recipient of a text message. This would make it evident to both parties when the phone has made a mistake, eliminating the embarrassment of apologizing for the word the keyboard chose to insert.
Most people type quickly but inaccurately on smartphone keyboards, relying on autocorrect to cover for them and fix any erroneous keypresses. Autocorrect doesn’t get it right in every scenario though. Because people don’t generally read through their text messages before pressing the send button, it’s often all too easy to inadvertently miscommunicate in a text chat.
Apple’s exhaustive patent details several potential ways to avoid this in the future. The keyboard would emphasize autocorrected words to both the sender and recipient, making it obvious to both when something may have been a classic “autocorrect mistake” moment.

Apple has filed a patent detailing an autocorrect system that tells you when it has made a mistake

Apple has filed a patent detailing an autocorrect system that tells you when it has made a mistake
Apple / U.S. Patents


The company suggests several different ways to indicate auto-correction has occurred. The system is based around visually distinguishing autocorrected words and phrases, changing font size, style or colour to clearly convey to the user which elements of their message were autocorrected.
A subtler form of emphasis would be underlining affected text. Apple already implements a basic form of this but only for the sender. After using voice dictation, words the software had trouble interpreting are underlined for the user to return to and manually correct if required.
The company could build on this to work with any input method and display on the receiving end too. Such a solution could improve the ease of typing messages on smartphones, allowing people to type more quickly with a higher degree of confidence in autocorrect.
Apple wants to make messaging simpler to use and a less frustrating experience. It notes in the patent that the recipient of a message “may be confused by the message” if a word isn’t what the sender expected. Flagging potential errors to both parties would at least indicate that any contextually inappropriate words may not have been intentionally inserted.
Apple filed the patent in July 2015. It should be noted that holding a patent does not mean it is actively developing the technology it describes. It could be planned for the future or just an idea that cropped up in an internal meaning. Apple credits Christopher J. Hynes as the original inventor of the system, described as a graphical user interface for visible and interactive corrected content.

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