Autocorrect has been something so many smartphone owners have been dealing with with frustration and anger in some cases. This was especially true when wanting to type common “expressive” words to your friends, such as “hell” (it would always change it to “he’ll”). It actually got a lot of buzz about making mistakes in really bad situations in the past, such as back before iOS 4.1, when the Tsunami hit Japan and the nuclear power plant began creating issues. Upon typing the word “Redcross” (such as when texting a service to donate money), the iPhone would auto-correct the phrase with the word “Reactor” instead. Granted, had the person typed “Red Cross” as two words, that would have been fine, but many people typed Reactor as a result of combining the words).

I’m ranting now… let me bring you back by just saying that auto-correct can be quite irritating to people. Apple has apparently (finally) caught onto that, and has made a small modification to the autocorrect feature that would fix this.

With the release of iOS 5 beta4, which came out today in the form of an over-the-air update to all non-jailbroken devices currently running iOS 5 beta3, Apple has added a small option that will make me a very happy man when typing. I don’t really know what the official name for it actually is, but it allows you to correct the auto-correct in a very easy way. (view photos below)

This is how the auto-correct works in iOS. If you continue by hitting spacebar to complete the word, the auto-correction is automatically accepted, to speed up the typing process. The system assumes you made a typo, and attempts to help you by correcting the word for you without your intervention. The correction appears underneath the word, and if you do not want it, you are supposed to tap the correction to dismiss it. Autocorrect will ignore everything about that word while you type it from now on. It also may add it to the dictionary, so that it doesn’t correct it later.

Now… things are different:

Now with iOS 5 beta4, the auto-correct function works the same way, except after you’ve proceeded to the next word, and realize the correction is wrong, you can easily go back to the way it was before the correction, without needing to retype the word again…

To get that going, we’ll refer back to our example from above, with attempting to type the word “hell.” Note, the word was automatically excepted as “he’ll” below, and the changes took effect automatically as we typed. However, upon deleting back to the end of the word (hitting delete 1 time, without deleting any letters), another box appears above the word, displaying possible alternatives for the word that was typed. The word that was originally typed will be in this list, and in our example, that was the only recommendation (it’s a pretty short word).

Simply tapping the new block suggestion box (with the word we really wanted), the iPhone changes to auto-corrected word, with the word of our choice. So, we don’t have to retype words (and in some cases, risk yet another autocorrection being suggested that we didn’t want). This should make typing a little less painful on iOS, and further enhance the user experience in a positive way.

We’ll let ya know if we see any more changes. Thanks for stopping by!

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