iPhone autocorrect driving you crazy lately? You’re not alone.


When introduced, the machine learning algorithm seemed far too aggressive, with many online complaining it made autocorrect worse. It even introduced some bizarre bugs that Apple had to publicly address with software updates.

After the rough introduction, Apple seems to have toned down the algorithm, and as a heavy iPhone user my experiences have mostly been positive.

If you can't bear to turn autocorrect off, resetting your dictionary may remove some of the weird corrections.

If you can’t bear to turn autocorrect off, resetting your dictionary may remove some of the weird corrections.

Machine learning has enabled the iPhone to correctly predict oddly spelt suburb names like Prahran and Woolloomooloo, to read the screen of an article and guess the surname or product I’m about to Google, and to suggest the spelling Bryan over Brian, because the former is a close friend.

The most surprising and welcomed change I’ve noticed in iOS 13 is my phone no longer autocorrects to ‘duck’, when the context of the sentence clearly points to another word. But it has added frustrations, too.

For at least two years now, my iPhone has insisted on autocorrecting Sydney to SYDNEY, every single time I type the word. After weeks of troubleshooting that included resetting the keyboard and uninstalling any transit apps I thought might be to blame, I realised the culprit.

I have a few hundred contacts on my phone from a previous employer, all with UNSW SYDNEY as their address. The thought of manually finding and editing all those contacts seems so tedious, I’ve lived with the bug since then.

But I shouldn’t need to. Apple’s software should be smart enough to know in almost all contexts, I would rather not write the word in all caps.

Contacts are often to blame for out of context changes, but sometimes the cause of the bug is simply unknown.

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Since upgrading to iOS 13, a friend’s iPhone decided that any proper noun should be written in all caps. He was constantly messaging us things like; LAUREN and JUSTIN will be going to HAWTHORN tonight, and would we like to come?

After weeks of putting up with this constant shouting, we begged him to reset his iPhone’s keyboard, and the bug disappeared.

If you’re plagued with strange autocorrection issues, many can be fixed by resetting the keyboard. To do this, open the Settings app on your iPhone, then select General > Reset > Reset Keyboard Dictionary.

Unfortunately, if the issue is related to data on your phone, as in my SYDNEY example, machine learning will soon take over and your issues will return. Apple has been contacted for comment.

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