It seems that autocorrect has always been a part of our lives, to help us avoid inadvertently inserting profanity or other typos into our messages. Remember the era of tiny virtual keyboards (the first iPhone only had a 3.5-inch screen)? While it’s helped us type faster and more accurately, it’s worth remembering that autocorrect has been the cause of countless miscommunications .Today, however, the predictive algorithms underpinning technology are increasingly intelligent, as software gets to know us better (both individually and collectively) and understand what we like to type. If the automatic correction does not behave as you want, or if you want to improve it or turn it off altogether, below you will find the settings and recommendations that will do for you .
To access the default keyboard settings on Android, go to Settings and then select Additional settings , Languages and input , Current keyboard , Gboard , Manage keyboards and Text correction . Here you can activate or deactivate the automatic correction ( Autocorrect ) and predictive completion ( Show suggestion bar ), as well as change various other options: you can, for example, prevent offensive words from being suggested ( Block offensive words ) and decide whether or not Android can consult the contact list (Suggest contacts ).
To add words to your personal dictionary – which will affect the predictions and automatic keyboard corrections – select Dictionary instead of Text correction in the previous screen. Tap Personal Dictionary , then tap your language and tap the + (plus) button in the top right corner to add a term. If you enter text in the box labeled Shortcut , it will be used to bring up the word (but you can also just add the word to the dictionary). For example, you can set as a text shortcut ” cmq ” to make ” appear anyway” in text: This is a more targeted way to use predictive completion.
Google’s Gboard keyboard tries to remember the words and phrases you use by default to improve its predictions over time. You can turn it off by opening Settings and choosing Additional settings , Languages & input , Current keyboard , Gboard , and Advanced . Turn off the switch next to Improve speaking and typing for everyone using data saved on the device . Data collection and personalization can be reset by enabling Delete words and learned data on the same screen.
Android also allows you to install a third-party keyboard if the default option doesn’t offer an autocorrect feature that’s right for you. Take, for example, Grammarly’s keyboard, which is free and offers all the basic features: it makes suggestions when it thinks your spelling or grammar is incorrect, and it lets you create a dictionary with your own words and phrases.
If you go to Settings in iOS and then select General and Keyboard , you can enable or disable AutoCorrect and Predictive Suggestions . Spelling errors will still be highlighted (unless you also disable Check Spelling on the same screen); by tapping on an incorrect word underlined in red, you will still be able to access the suggested substitutions, which however will not be applied by the smartphone as in the case in which the automatic correction is active.
If you get a lot of irrelevant or incorrect suggestions, unfortunately there isn’t much you can do to change them. You can reset the predictive text dictionary to its original state, which might be helpful: From Settings , select General , then Transfer or Erase iPhone , then Reset and Reset Keyboard Dictionary .
Apple’s operating system also offers the ability to replace text, which can be accessed by tapping General , Keyboard , and Text Replacement from Settings . This function can be used as an alternative to automatic correction: by pressing + you can add the sentence that you want the keyboard to compose automatically by typing the words and text above to activate them in the field below (for example, ” I’m coming! ” as a sentence complete and “ arr ”” as a shortcut to activate it). By leaving the shortcut box blank, you can simply add your own words and phrases.
As with Android, there are several third-party keyboards to choose from if you don’t like the default options. Phraseboard Keyboard (2.49 euros), to name one, takes the concept of text replacement to a whole new level, granting full control over keyboard predictions, as well as allowing you to customize the interface in many different ways.