The United States Patent and Trademark Office recently published a new patent application originally filed by Apple last July, detailing a system in which the receiver of an iMessage could be notified when pieces of the message are scrambled incoherently by the company's autocorrect system (via AppleInsider). The patent isn't a proactive solution to enhance the sometimes spotty nature of autocorrect, but simply a way to let the person on the other end of the text know what's happening, and give each user tools to better explain what they meant.

Apple describes a new user interface that would highlight any words or phrases in a message that have been siphoned through autocorrect. The system wouldn't be advanced enough to reveal the specifically intentioned words the sender meant, but at least give the receiver a heads up about which parts of the text were corrected.

autocorrect patent 1

A design of the sender-side UI

Parts of the patent reveal iterations of the idea that can streamline the clarification process, as well. For example, a description of the sender-side user interface includes a prompt that pops up -- after a user taps on the autocorrected word -- with an option to "Send clarification" to the receiver. The canned message fills out the phrase, "I sent [wrong word], but I meant [correct word]." If they want a complete do-over, the user could also just opt to re-send the entire message.

autocorrect patent 2

A design of the receiver-side UI

On the receiver-side user interface, if the sender isn't opting to fix the issue themselves, the other person can "Request clarification" by tapping on the highlighted autocorrect word or phrase. The automated message is similar to the previous sender-side phrase, asking "You sent [wrong word]. What did you mean?"

If implemented in a future version of iOS, the autocorrect highlight patent could be similar to the way iOS currently underscores vague references to dates and times when users send and receive text messages. Apple's new patent could be slightly more helpful for most users than that feature, however, especially given the speed with which iPhone users have grown accustomed to texting on the device, and how frustrating it can be to realize autocorrect interfered with your message.

Like most patents, it's still advised to be wary of how long it'll take Apple to implement the autocorrect notification system into iOS, if it ever will. Still, it's easy to see how useful and streamlined such a feature could be, without completely taking out much of the humorous -- and sometimes awkward -- mishaps for which autocorrect has become famous.

Tag: Patent

Top Rated Comments

iLoveDeveloping Avatar
79 months ago
Yey better autocorrect, it works most of the tomatoes.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ArtOfWarfare Avatar
79 months ago
I feel that it would be vastly simpler to just fix autocorrect. I think if they fixed these two things, it would do away with 99% of false corrections by autocorrect:

#1: When I type a word that includes a capital in it, and it isn't the the first letter of the sentence, don't touch it. Ever. It's a name or trademark or something - it isn't ordinary English, leave it alone.

#2: When I type a valid English word, leave it alone. I don't care that it's statistically improbable that it's what I meant or whatever. AFAIK, I have never mistakenly typed one valid English word but meant another.

I remember making this suggestion when I was using my first iPhone, the 3GS, 7 years ago. I was so sure that Apple would swiftly fix it. Here we are, 7 years later with iOS 9, and autocorrect still sucks just as badly as it did then.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
RichTF Avatar
79 months ago
Sounds like a ducking awesome idea for iMessage!
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gaximus Avatar
79 months ago
Um, no. I don't have that problem. I don't press my finger in the same spot when I mean different letters, so I don't mix up top or too (because there's an o right before the letter that could be mixed up).

I definitely don't type letters in the wrong order and end up with no when I meant on or vice versa.

I could imagine there are some situations where autocorrect's current behavior is better than its behavior if you make the changes I proposed, but they seem exceedingly rare to me.
Wow I've never meet someone who never makes a mistake while typing. You must be an amazing typist or type so slow that its impossible to make a mistake. Some words I type so fast from muscle memory I'll mix up the characters, even in my own name.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
justperry Avatar
79 months ago
Autocorrect really sucks when you are bilingual, sometimes I deliberately type words in a different language but it autocorrects, it shouldn't do that when you have more than 1 keyboard language on your phone, or even on OS X.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
oneMadRssn Avatar
79 months ago
I usually turn off autocorrect.

This is my thinking - I would rather send the right word spelled wrong than the wrong word spelled right.

The former just looks like the typo, whereas the latter could entirely change the meaning of the sentence.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

maxresdefault

Unbox Therapy Shares Hands-On Look at iPhone 14 Pro Max Replica

Monday May 16, 2022 4:40 am PDT by
YouTuber Unbox Therapy has shared a hands-on look at the iPhone 14 Pro Max using what he claims is a one-to-one replica created by third-party case makers with access to detailed schematics and dimensions for Apple's new upcoming flagship smartphone. As with the iPhone 13 Pro lineup, in 2022, we are expecting a 6.1-inch iPhone 14 Pro and a 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Pro Max, but this time the Pro...
macOS Monterey 2

Apple Releases macOS Monterey 12.4 With Support for Studio Display Webcam Update

Monday May 16, 2022 10:10 am PDT by
Apple today released macOS Monterey 12.4, the fourth major update to the macOS Monterey operating system that launched in October 2021. macOS Monterey 12.4 comes over two months after the launch of macOS Monterey 12.3, an update that added Universal Control. The ‌‌‌‌‌macOS Monterey‌‌ 12.4 update can be downloaded on all eligible Macs using the Software Update section of System...
iOS 15

Apple Releases iOS 15.5 and iPadOS 15.5 With Wallet and Podcast Updates

Monday May 16, 2022 10:00 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS 15.5 and iPadOS 15.5, the fifth major updates to the iOS and iPadOS 15 operating systems that were initially released in September 2021. iOS and iPadOS 15.5 come a little over two months after the launch of iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4. The iOS 15.5 and iPadOS 15.5 updates can be downloaded for free and the software is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in...
iOS 16 mock for article

Gurman: iOS 16 to Include New Ways of System Interaction and 'Fresh Apple Apps'

Sunday May 15, 2022 6:14 am PDT by
iOS 16 will include new ways of interacting with the system and some "fresh Apple apps," Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has said, offering some more detail on what Apple has in store for the upcoming release of iOS and iPadOS set to be announced in a few weeks at WWDC. In the latest edition of his Power On newsletter, Gurman wrote that while iOS 16 is not likely to introduce a major face-lift to...
Prosser Series 8 3

Apple Watch Series 8 Rumored to Feature New Design With Flat Display

Wednesday May 18, 2022 6:21 am PDT by
The Apple Watch Series 8 could feature an all-new design with a flat display, according to the leaker known as "ShrimpApplePro." In his latest video on the YouTube channel Front Page Tech, Jon Prosser highlighted information from ShrimpApplePro that suggests the Apple Watch Series 8 could feature a flat display in what seems to be a design originally rumored for the Apple Watch Series 7. ...
Whatsapp Feature

WhatsApp to Let Users Leave Group Chats 'Silently' and View Rich Link Previews in Status Updates

Tuesday May 17, 2022 3:07 am PDT by
WhatsApp is working on a new feature that will allow users to "silently" leave group chats hosted by the messaging platform instead of all members of the group being notified when they do. As it stands, when someone leaves a group chat, WhatsApp announces their exit to the entire group, making the act of leaving very public. It's not possible right now to leave a group quietly, but WhatsApp...
apple tv 4k design green

Apple Releases tvOS 15.5 for Apple TV HD and Apple TV 4K

Monday May 16, 2022 9:57 am PDT by
Apple today released tvOS 15.5, the fifth major update to the tvOS operating system that first launched in September 2021. tvOS 15.5 comes more than two months after the release of tvOS 15.4, an update that brought support for captive WiFi networks. tvOS 15.5 can be downloaded over the air on the Apple TV through the Settings app by going to System > Software Update. ‌‌‌‌‌‌Apple...