Fix for weird autocorrect suggestions on iPad?
July 5, 2016 1:41 PM   Subscribe

Over the last few months I've noticed an annoying quirk with my iPad's autocorrect suggestions in iMessages/FB Messenger. It has started suggesting truly off the wall "corrections" for correctly spelled words, to the point where I started keeping a list. Some examples: I wrote "Anytime" and it suggested "Vanities." It has suggested "Vapour" instead of "Happy," and "Ochoa" for "Oh." I didn't even know what that last word was, so it's not like I somehow added it to my autocorrect dictionary. Has anyone else experienced this? Is there a way to fix it?

Generally this occurs in the first word of a message. It doesn't happen every time; about 95% of the time I'd say autocorrect works well, which is why I don't want to just turn it off. It only seems to happen in iMessage and FB Messenger.

I know for sure I'm typing the original word correctly, because most of the time I manage not to accept the suggestion, so I can still see what I typed initially. Even when I do accidentally accept a correction, it never offers the same weird correction twice when I try to replicate it.

I have reset my keyboard's autocorrect dictionary and it didn't help. My keyboard is set to English. I have checked to make sure I haven't added any shortcuts.

I'm running iOS 9.1 on an iPad Mini 2--I'm reluctant to update, because updates seem to slow things down for older devices, and I am not planning to buy a new iPad soon. I'm also not convinced an update would fix it.

I've tried to google this issue and haven't found anything similar. It's not the end of the world--I always catch these mistakes before sending, but it's annoying.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I have about six devices and this keeps getting worse for me (and everyone I know). I've reset the autocorrect feature several times (per Apple's suggestion), but it does nothing.
posted by crankyrogalsky at 2:12 PM on July 5, 2016 [2 favorites]

This is the case for me on iPad, and it got even worse for me when I dared to correct the spelling of some words I wanted to use, because I think I inadvertently ended up adding suffixes to the dictionary that iPad started to correct normal words to include or even be replaced by. This occurs for me across the board, not just in certain apps, though I do recall getting some especially garbled results at various points while visiting Facebook in browser.
posted by limeonaire at 3:37 PM on July 5, 2016

Response by poster: Huh. Well, it's actually oddly comforting that it's happening to others and it's not just me, even though it doesn't sound like there's much one can do about it.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 5:25 PM on July 5, 2016

FWIW, I have very similar issues on an Android tablet. In many ways, it is the best tablet I have ever owned, but I have taken to cussing at it out loud over the crazy-making autocorrect shenanigans, especially if I fail to catch them before posting and it turns something into utter gibberish.

I don't think it is particular to any specific bit of hardware or that you are doing anything wrong. The nicest thing I can say is that autocorrect seems to be at an awkward development stage, like some teens go through.
posted by Michele in California at 5:49 PM on July 5, 2016 [2 favorites]

I finally couldn't take it anymore and shut it off.
posted by cecic at 6:11 PM on July 5, 2016

I'm having a similar experience on a new iPhone. It's the same iOS I had on my previous phone and tablet, but the autocorrect seems like it's been drinking sometimes. I just watch a bit more carefully but you're right, it's annoying. So... sympathy but unfortunately I don't have a solution!
posted by sm1tten at 6:41 PM on July 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

I use the Swiftkey keyboard on my iPad Mini 3 since it's just generally a better keyboard anyway (there's at least two features of the default iOS keyboard that I hate) and it's never had this issue (indeed, it has a really good next-word-prediction).
posted by EndsOfInvention at 3:19 AM on July 6, 2016 [1 favorite]

Yes, now that iOS supports third-party keyboards the obvious fix is to switch to a keyboard that doesn't have the problem. Swiftkey is great on Android, I would second its use on iOS as well. Once it has learned what I type, I can type entire messages to my wife with it just using the suggestions.
posted by kindall at 9:16 AM on July 6, 2016 [1 favorite]

Try the Google keyboard as well. I found the Swiftkey one completely irritating. It's suggestions were idiotic and it would sometimes get into a rut where it would completely fail to correct a problem and I'd have to erase multiple words to fix things. The Google one? I'm a guess kind of person but Google is ask AND guess. Our relationship is nearly perfect.
posted by firstdrop at 8:46 PM on July 6, 2016 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks everyone--this was really informative because I found out a) it's not just me b) it happens even with newer devices and OS, and c) there might be a fix with a substitute keyboard. Good news because I am not keen to accidentally wish anyone a very vapour birthday.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 1:10 AM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]

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