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Apple invents enhanced autocorrect tool and automated language input selection

post #1 of 35
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The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday published a pair of Apple patent filings, one describing a unique autocorrect system and another detailing a method in which a message's keyboard language is automatically selected based on contextual cues.

Enhanced autocorrection



Apple's "Transient panel enabling message correction capabilities prior to data submission" patent application details an interesting take on the established autocorrect feature seen in both iOS and OS X.

Autocorrect
Source: USPTO


As described, the method would afford a smartphone user the opportunity to write a message, press send, then review any autocorrected words before the message is actually transmitted. Compared to current techniques, which only allow users the chance to change autocorrected words prior to hitting send, the system gives a type of second chance if activated.

The document notes that, while the autocomplete function may assist in text entry, the tool could enter erroneous words. Additionally, the user may not notice words that have been marked as incorrect by the autocorrect system.

Apple points out the mechanism would be time-limited to not interrupt the flow of communication. To that end, an indicator would be displayed in the system's user interface to indicate the time a user has left to make a change. Shown alongside the timer are three other areas that include "Fix Errors," "Ignore" or "Reject" and "Accept" buttons.

If the appropriate button is selected, for example "Fix Errors," a so-called "transient panel" is displayed containing a number of autocorrect suggestions for incorrect words. A learning element may also be applied to suggest words a user selects often, or inhibit the display of words rarely selected.

A particularly interesting feature is message queuing. The filing states that in some cases the system can bring up multiple panels attached to multiple messages before sending them off. In this implementation, a user would type a number of messages, each of which would be sent to the back of a queue. When finished, the messages can be accepted and sent out one at a time.

The invention goes on to explain the autocorrect and suggestion utility in greater detail, as well as various implementations of the transient panel UI.

Apple's enhanced autocorrect patent application was first filed for in 2012 and credits Mehul K. Sanghavi and Swati J. Deo as its inventors.

Language Changing



Apple's on-the-nose "Automatically changing a language for electronic messages" details an invention that "intelligently" and automatically select a language for creating electronic messages based on data associated with a corresponding contact and user interaction.

According to the document, the system can determine which language to use by scanning a received document to which a user is replying, metadata associated with a particular contact and information about the user. For example, if a received message is determined to be written in Italian, a reply created by the user would bring up an Italian soft keyboard.

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The application points out that an automated system would free the user from having to navigate to a settings menu to manually select a global language or activate a specific keyboard.

In one example, the user receives a message from an unknown sender. Next, either on-board or cloud-based software is used to determine the language in which the message is written. Any number of techniques may be used, though the document specifically mentions MIME and language trees.

Once a language has been recognized, the system will load the proper keyboard to respond. Based on previous interaction with the user and the identified language, the software may request permission to use the new keyboard. Alternatively, the user may decline to use the suggested keyboard manually.

In a second scenario, a user has selected a contact to which they would like to send a message. Depending on language data assigned to that person, perhaps from past messages, the system will bring up a preferred keyboard and ask that a user validate the selection. The user may also manually assign a preferred language to a contact in the globally-accessed address book.

Finally, if multiple recipients are included in a message, and they all share a non-default language, the system will select said language. If data tied to each recipient differs, the phone may ask the user to select a keyboard, or use the default global language.

Apple's automatic language selection patent was first filed for in 2012 and credits Alessandro Pelosi as its inventor.
post #2 of 35
Nice implementation from Apple. I'd love to have a grammar-checker added.

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post #3 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Nice implementation from Apple. I'd love to have a grammar-checker added.

Please no; we wouldn't be seeing captures like this anymore:

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post #4 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Nice implementation from Apple. I'd love to have a grammar-checker added.

Totally agree with you're post. there work in this field would be it's crowning achievement as people's grammer are real bad these day's.
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post #5 of 35

"Totally agree with you're post. there work in this field would be it's crowning achievement as people's grammer are real bad these day's."

 

Yay! Unfortunately you did get "people's" right.

post #6 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by emcomments View Post

"Totally agree with you're post. there work in this field would be it's crowning achievement as people's grammer are real bad these day's."

Yay! Unfortunately you did get "people's" right.

Eet shooda bean peeplez.

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post #7 of 35
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Originally Posted by emcomments View Post

Yay! Unfortunately you did get "people's" right.
Nu-uh

Should be "peoples' grammar"

Top satires.

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post #8 of 35

I hope this improves the ios keyboard.

post #9 of 35

Lack of keyboard choice or options and features on the current one is a big complaint. Personally I prefer swype and got used to it but I realize it is not for everyone. This new autocorrect feature seems like a great addition. I think Blackberry for all their other faults also added a nice word suggestion feature better than the current one on iOS. I just wish there were room for a 4th row to include numbers. My biggest complaint with the current keyboard asides from no swipe ability is the difficulty of typing numbers and symbols or needing to use a foreign alphabet or symbols for multilingual people which takes far too many steps. There is no such thing as one keyboard to rule them all. A few more choices and options would be a welcome addition in iOS 8. 

post #10 of 35

Now that I've used the swiftkey keyboard in their latest app, I'm sold. I want that in iOS. And I even prefer it to Swype. What's cool is that it's completely optional so if people want to keep writing their own words in full they can.

post #11 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClemyNX View Post
 

Now that I've used the swiftkey keyboard in their latest app, I'm sold. I want that in iOS. And I even prefer it to Swype. What's cool is that it's completely optional so if people want to keep writing their own words in full they can.

I haven't used Swiftkey only Swype but saw the video and it looks amazing. I would love to have this on my iPhone or iPad.

 

post #12 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwmac View Post

I haven't used Swiftkey only Swype but saw the video and it looks amazing. I would love to have this on my iPhone or iPad.


Swype is impressive in a flashy way but is it more efficient? I've used it and it worked but I didn't like having to keep my finger on the glass to write something lengthy. I can see this being a problem compared to the nearly instants compression taps.

Nor did I like that I had to look at the keyboard a lot more to get my orientation. With thumb typing with two hands on my iPhone I can do it whilst looking at the text area because the length of my thumbs, joints and their range of motion allow for a great deal of "muscle memory" that I don't see getting from Swype from repeated use. At least not with the same level of accuracy as thumb typing.

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post #13 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Swype is impressive in a flashy way but is it more efficient?

FWIW, which isn't much, a Swype user set a Guinness record for fastest text entry a couple years back.

But like you I didn't care for Swype either. Curious tho why Apple doesn't generally allow alternate keyboards? Any guess as to technical or just esthetic reasons?
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post #14 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

FWIW, which isn't much, a Swype user set a Guinness record for fastest text entry a couple years back.

But like you I didn't care for Swype either.

I have no doubt that it can be faster but it faster in the way people make automobiles that break speed barriers on salt flats? IOW, is it faster when you're trying to be fast but falls short when trying to use in the real world, like for casually typing without having to look at the keyboard?

Unless I'm in an area with people around I will try to dictate my average, quick message (usually in iMessage). It's this area that I wish the system was better because it's kind of amazing some of the things Siri thinks she hears.

Quote:
What I said: I feel bad for future anthropologists who will need to decipher Siri's voice-to-text translations of our communications.

What Siri heard: I real bad four furniture arctic apologies who will need to December Siri voice or text transmission of hour communion.

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post #15 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post



FWIW, which isn't much, a Swype user set a Guinness record for fastest text entry a couple years back.



But like you I didn't care for Swype either. Curious tho why Apple doesn't generally allow alternate keyboards? Any guess as to technical or just esthetic reasons?

 



Almost certainly not technical, certainly esthetic and absolutely security. data-logger anyone ?
post #16 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Unless I'm in an area with people around I will try to dictate my average, quick message (usually in iMessage). I

On that note I wanted to rag one of my friends from inside a sports bar during this years Super Bowl. Figured I'd try a voice text just because. 1rolleyes.gif Even tho it was ridiculously loud my son's HTC One got every word right. I was impressed.
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post #17 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by smiffy31 View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post



FWIW, which isn't much, a Swype user set a Guinness record for fastest text entry a couple years back.



But like you I didn't care for Swype either. Curious tho why Apple doesn't generally allow alternate keyboards? Any guess as to technical or just esthetic reasons?

 



Almost certainly not technical, certainly esthetic and absolutely security. data-logger anyone ?

Really just Apple not wanting to do it.  They previously had a policy of not allowing apps that replicated core functions of the phone.  I think they've lightened up on that policy but they still haven't extended it to the on screen keyboard.  Data logging wouldn't be any more of an issue than any other app passing through the app store screening process.  

post #18 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by emcomments View Post

"Totally agree with you're post. there work in this field would be it's crowning achievement as people's grammer are real bad these day's."

Yay! Unfortunately you did get "people's" right.

Damn. It's harder than you'd think to type like that! 1biggrin.gif
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post #19 of 35

If I am alone and in a relatively quiet environment my first choice is always voice dictation for texts. By a large margin this is my my most oft used way to text.  It is faster and easier than anything and I have mastered how and what to say to Siri to get amazingly accurate results as long as I have Wifi or LTE. 3G can be somewhat slow with voice dictation of texts so it is hit or miss. For noisier situations and for short messages the Apple keyboard is fine. I would like Swype or Swiftkey for longer and more complicated texts where I may not be alone and want privacy or I need to type longer sentences. The ability to easily switch between keyboard would be nice. I mastered Swype pretty quickly and can type around 2x to 3x  as fast with that over the traditional keyboard. 


Edited by gwmac - 2/6/14 at 9:23am
post #20 of 35
Data logging could be a problem, apps are not disassembled and the full APIs are probably not checked, there have been some apps which have remotely activated some action or after a certain time/date. This would not need to be a full app so it could be easier to sandbox.

Has anyone tried 'Fleksy' it is a mix of auto-correction and swiping it does an amazing job. even without looking at (or being able to see) the keyboard.
post #21 of 35

The enhanced autocorrection should come in handy for multi-lingual people.

 

A while back, I loaded the Dutch keyboard on my iPhone, just to show my Dutch speaking relatives and to help with entering Dutch text in Google Translate. Usually, during texting, the switch between the emoji keyboard and the regular English keyboard is straightforward, but for some reason, I once ended up on the Dutch keyboard without realizing it. I thought my autocorrect was completely broke! It was coming up with the weirdest words for some very common (and properly spelled) English words. I was stuck in a state of "what the hell?" for a while before I figured it out.

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post #22 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

 

What I said: I feel bad for future anthropologists who will need to decipher Siri's voice-to-text translations of our communications.

What Siri heard: I real bad four furniture arctic apologies who will need to December Siri voice or text transmission of hour communion.

 

What I said: I feel bad for future anthropologists who will need to decipher Siri's voice-to-text translations of our communications.

What my Android phone heard: I feel bad for future anthropologist who will need to decipher Siri's voice to text translations of our communications

 

Not perfect, but dang close.

post #23 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by DroidFTW View Post
 

 

What I said: I feel bad for future anthropologists who will need to decipher Siri's voice-to-text translations of our communications.

What my Android phone heard: I feel bad for future anthropologist who will need to decipher Siri's voice to text translations of our communications

 

Not perfect, but dang close.

What I said: I feel bad for future anthropologists who will need to decipher Siri's voice-to-text translations of our communications.

What my iPhone 5S got:  I feel bad for future anthropologists who will need to decipher series voice to text translations of our communications.

 

Besides  confusing her name with "series" that was spot on accurate even though that was a rather strangely worded sentence.  I really don't have issues with voice to text except for not always being alone, or in a quiet place, or not having LTE or Wifi. It just takes good enunciation and practice. 


Edited by gwmac - 2/6/14 at 8:07pm
post #24 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by smiffy31 View Post

Data logging could be a problem, apps are not disassembled and the full APIs are probably not checked, there have been some apps which have remotely activated some action or after a certain time/date. This would not need to be a full app so it could be easier to sandbox.

Has anyone tried 'Fleksy' it is a mix of auto-correction and swiping it does an amazing job. even without looking at (or being able to see) the keyboard.

Couldn't one mitigate that threat by preventing keyboards from transmitting or receiving anything over the network?

post #25 of 35

An invention to correct auto-correct.  I think I know what Steve would have said if you pitched that idea to him.

post #26 of 35
This seems more like a band aid than a positive development.

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post #27 of 35
It would be nice to see some improvements to autocorrect.

The current version sometimes doesn't work very we'll.

1wink.gif
post #28 of 35
what i would love to see is, for those of us who communicate in multiple languages often, to allow "misspelled" words to have a second language option that could show auto-correct options in the second language of choice. I find when communicating with second langue users, inserting words familiar with both, auto-correction can be torture.
post #29 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR View Post

It would be nice to see some improvements to autocorrect.

The current version sometimes doesn't work very we'll.

1wink.gif

Contractions using autocorrect give me fits. Really like to see that fixed. It seems much more pronounced since iOS7.
post #30 of 35
What if you want to use more than language? In the same text/email? I often have to quote a foreign language when writing in English, and if I cannot change the language manually, it will seriously affect me.
post #31 of 35

I think Samsung has an implementation wherein they suggest previously used sentences when typing.

 

It made me think about Samsung putting out a 65-bit phone - "screw word suggestions, we will give sentence suggestions"!

 

Having said that, the person who told me about it was a doctor and said she loved the feature as it allowed her to SMS generic prescriptions without having to retype all the medicine names again.

post #32 of 35
Not being able to send any data is what i meant by sand-boxing, These new keyboards are heavily dictionary dependent they may require downloading data, or be obliged to use the in-build dictionaries.
post #33 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR View Post

It would be nice to see some improvements to autocorrect.

The current version sometimes doesn't work very we'll.

1wink.gif

Their's truth in their. Well see how it we'll evolve.
Android seems to be an illiterate product, as they only have numbers to show for.
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post #34 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by BestKeptSecret View Post

Having said that, the person who told me about it was a doctor and said she loved the feature as it allowed her to SMS generic prescriptions without having to retype all the medicine names again.

She could add those difficult medicine names to the keyboard shortcuts.
Android seems to be an illiterate product, as they only have numbers to show for.
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Android seems to be an illiterate product, as they only have numbers to show for.
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post #35 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by tundraboy View Post

An invention to correct auto-correct.  I think I know what Steve would have said if you pitched that idea to him.

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1biggrin.gif

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