According to a recently-awarded patent (opens in new tab), Apple is working on making autocorrect more intelligent. The patent's proposes a version of autocorrect that can fix fragments of words, as well as move your cursor automatically to where you made an identified error. This would make it easier to re-write the word or phrase you got wrong the first time.
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Apple filed the patent, spotted by PhoneArena (opens in new tab), back in 2017. Earlier this month, the USPTO awarded the Cupertino-based company protection over the autocorrect enhancements.
The iPhone's autocorrect feature has long caused frustrations (and a few laughs) by fixing phrases or words incorrectly. Sometimes autocorrect changes a word that the user spelled the right way, too.
Over time, the iPhone's keyboard becomes a bit more intuitive, recognizing the words or proper nouns you use often. You also have the option to bypass autocorrect for certain phrases, or disable autocorrect altogether in the keyboard section of your settings app.
If Apple were to introduce the cursor-moving feature detailed in the patent, it could provide another alternative to autocorrect. That said, the feature seems like it could be more annoying than the autocorrect we know has ever been.
I'm not sure I'd want my iPhone automatically moving my text cursor for me, even if I had made a mistake. Most of my iPhone typing pertains to shorter messages, which aren't worth going to back to fix for one false word. In that case, I'd rather follow up the message with a correction or just retype the message from the beginning.
But I'll also argue that any update to autocorrect could improve the feature's intelligence, causing fewer incorrect corrections. Of course, this is a patent we're talking about, so there's no promise we'll see its contents come to fruition. Apple protects hundreds of ideas and projects that never see the light of day.
We'll learn about any upcoming keyboard improvements when the company reveals iOS 15 at WWDC 2021, which is taking place virtually in June.