How to customize, hide or remove QuickType suggestions with the iOS 8 keyboard

Posted:
in iPhone edited December 2014
Apple has flaunted iOS's software keyboard since the original iPhone, but the now-familiar input device saw scarce upgrades until iOS 8 added a new QuickType predictive suggestion bar. AppleInsider takes a look at how users can make the most of the new -- and some old --?features.




Apple actually introduced two keyboard-related tentpole features in iOS 8: third-party keyboard support and QuickType predictive text. Third-party keyboards function in much the same manner as they do on competing mobile operating systems, replacing the default system keyboard with a new one -- many of which are, similarly, also available on other platforms.

QuickType, in contrast, is Apple's own take on predictive text entry. The keyboard will analyze the text you've typed so far, and suggest words that it believes you're most likely to type next. QuickType even takes tone into account -- more relaxed words and phrases, like "I totally love this," will be used in instant messages while emails will get more formal language, such as "as you requested."

Getting rid of the suggestion bar

While many people love predictive text, others couldn't care less and find the addition distracting. For the latter group, let's take a look at ways to disable it.

Temporarily

Removing the predictive suggestion bar -- which sits just above the default keyboard -- from view temporarily is quite easy. Simply tap anywhere in the bar and drag downward -- it will collapse into a thinner gray line with a white grab handle.



Bringing it back requires the opposite action: grab the handle and drag upward.

Permanently

To permanently disable QuickType suggestions, you can simply long press on the keyboard selector icon and slide the "Predictive" toggle off (thanks to Nick for the tip.)



Alternatively, you can make a trip into your iPhone or iPad's Settings app. Navigate to Settings → General → Keyboard and turn off the "Predictive" switch. Turn the switch back on to re-enable it.

Shortcuts


An oft-overlook feature of iOS --?and OS X --?is the ability to define text shortcuts that can be used to insert longer pieces of text. For instance, you might set easily-remembered shortcuts for complex mobile phone carrier text codes that let you check your balance via SMS, or you could configure a quick way to insert your email or mailing address for filling out web forms.

To create and manage shortcuts, navigate to Settings → General → Keyboard → Shortcuts. Here, you'll see an alphabetically-sorted list of existing shortcuts. Adding a new shortcut is as simple as tapping the "+" button in the upper right.

The resulting dialog asks for two items --?a phrase and a shortcut. The phrase is the longer piece of text that will be inserted, while the shortcut is what you'll actually type. In our case, we've added the shortcut "@@@" for "[email protected]"

To test your new shortcut, head to the nearest app with a text entry field. You can see that when we type @@@, iOS automatically shows it as a QuickType suggestion and a space will expand it to [email protected] -- a big time saver.

You can edit or remove shortcuts by returning to Settings → General → Keyboard → Shortcuts, and tapping "Edit" in the lower left.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 55

    For some reason I'm just not making out well with Predictive Text and these third-party keyboards. Predictive Text is an annoyance when you're *already* fast as hell. Your attention is drawn in two directions, slowing you down. It's rather jarring. I'm willing to spend more time with it, but it's just so much more comfy to type on the standard iOS keyboard with autocorrect. Frankly, the only improvement I really need is a smarter autocorrect.

     

    Swyping feels gimmicky. Appears to be terrible with longer words. Even if there is promise of texting speed improvement, will it really be *that* much faster? I don't think so. Which makes it pointless to learn a new paradigm. I suppose it's ok for one-handed use now and then when your hands are otherwise full. 

     

    In my view it just goes to show how well Apple designed the standard iOS keyboard. The contrast is perfect. Key spacing/height also perfect. It's just great to use. It's easy to get good with it. 

  • Reply 2 of 55
    My only complaint with the predictive text is at some point, it started to think that LOL meant I wanted to say LOLA.

    I have plenty of an odd conversation after that...
  • Reply 3 of 55
    What I want is a way to swipe out a suggested word that I'll never use.

    I live in Canada and yet every time I start typing something with a capital "A" I get the suggestion "AT&T". Of course we don't have AT&T here (not anymore, merged with Rogers Mobility) and yet I keep getting the suggestion. I want to be able to swipe the word to the right to delete it from suggestions and get something more useful, like maybe my name?
  • Reply 4 of 55
    I hear you on the learning curve. I Watch the middle and right boxes as they are the only two places where words appear once you type.

    For fun my gf and I typ out messages by hitting the predicted text boxes over and over, then sent the messages. They were funny.

    I like these tips. Is there a link on the home page where they all can be found?
  • Reply 5 of 55
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

     

    For some reason I'm just not making out well with Predictive Text and these third-party keyboards. Predictive Text is an annoyance when you're *already* fast as hell. Your attention is drawn in two directions, slowing you down. It's rather jarring. I'm willing to spend more time with it, but it's just so much more comfy to type on the standard iOS keyboard with autocorrect. Frankly, the only improvement I really need is a smarter autocorrect.

     

    Swyping feels gimmicky. Appears to be terrible with longer words. Even if there is promise of texting speed improvement, will it really be *that* much faster? I don't think so. Which makes it pointless to learn a new paradigm. I suppose it's ok for one-handed use now and then when your hands are otherwise full. 

     

    In my view it just goes to show how well Apple designed the standard iOS keyboard. The contrast is perfect. Key spacing/height also perfect. It's just great to use. It's easy to get good with it. 


     

    Agree with you on the predictive text.  I find myself typing a couple of letters and then looking up to see if my word is there.  I actually type faster without it.

     

    On Swype, however, I can't agree.  While the whole 3rd party keyboard thing concerns me a bit (I understand that Swype doesn't store my data unlike others), Swype works like a dream.  I can literally "type" an entire paragraph within a few seconds.  My only complaint (aside from privacy) is that it's still a bit buggy.  Sometimes I'll open iMessage and can't get a keyboard to display for anything, which requires me to close out messages completely and try again.

  • Reply 6 of 55
    You can turn predictive typing permanently on and off just by tap-and-holding the keyboard key to bring up the on-off switch (also a potentially quicker way to switch to a different enabled keyboard).
  • Reply 7 of 55

    I guess that I'm old fashioned. I have a vast dictionary of words already programmed into my brain, and I don't need or want any suggestions as to what to type next. I'm also not a fan of those swiping keyboards and I received a decent education when I was younger, so I rarely make any spelling or grammatical mistakes.

     

    One day when we're hit by an EMP attack, I'll take comfort in the fact that I will still know how to write using a pen and paper.

     

    I'll be disabling these quicktype features for sure.

  • Reply 8 of 55
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 2,926moderator
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by allenbf View Post

     

     

    Agree with you on the predictive text.  I find myself typing a couple of letters and then looking up to see if my word is there.  I actually type faster without it.

     

    On Swype, however, I can't agree.  While the whole 3rd party keyboard thing concerns me a bit (I understand that Swype doesn't store my data unlike others), Swype works like a dream.  I can literally "type" an entire paragraph within a few seconds.  My only complaint (aside from privacy) is that it's still a bit buggy.  Sometimes I'll open iMessage and can't get a keyboard to display for anything, which requires me to close out messages completely and try again.




    The most efficient means of utilizing the predictive text feature is to quickly train your brain to look up to the predictive text bar only when the word you are starting to type is a long word, at least six characters is my filter.  I'm less distracted that way and find it more efficient after typing two letters to then start looking's for and selecting the predicted word.  It's very good in such contexts.

  • Reply 9 of 55
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

     

    I guess that I'm old fashioned. I have a vast dictionary of words already programmed into my brain, and I don't need or want any suggestions as to what to type next. I'm also not a fan of those swiping keyboards and I received a decent education when I was younger, so I rarely make any spelling or grammatical mistakes.

     

    One day when we're hit by an EMP attack, I'll take comfort in the fact that I will still know how to write using a pen and paper.

     

    I'll be disabling these quicktype features for sure.


     

    You'll need that paper to start a fire, so don't write anything too important on it.

     

    ;-)

  • Reply 10 of 55

    You can turn predictive typing on and off just by tap-and-holding the keyboard key.  That brings up the on/off switch as well as a list of enabled keyboards.

  • Reply 11 of 55
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by allenbf View Post

     

     

    Agree with you on the predictive text.  I find myself typing a couple of letters and then looking up to see if my word is there.  I actually type faster without it.

     

    On Swype, however, I can't agree.  While the whole 3rd party keyboard thing concerns me a bit (I understand that Swype doesn't store my data unlike others), Swype works like a dream.  I can literally "type" an entire paragraph within a few seconds.  My only complaint (aside from privacy) is that it's still a bit buggy.  Sometimes I'll open iMessage and can't get a keyboard to display for anything, which requires me to close out messages completely and try again.


     

     

    What is your preferred method of Swyping? Thumbs? Index finger?  I might give it another chance. Still seems interesting, especially given that predictive text does absolutely nothing for me. 

  • Reply 12 of 55

    Riddle me this Batman - Why doesn't Apple use lower case on their keyboard?

  • Reply 13 of 55
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by boeyc15 View Post

     

    Riddle me this Batman - Why doesn't Apple use lower case on their keyboard?


     

    It's all controlled by the Shift key.

     

    Lower-case causes a *change* in the letterforms. Consistent letterforms make for easier recognition. All caps on the keys. They look the same, ALWAYS. Easier to recognize the targets quickly. I find it jarring to suddenly find all the letters are now lowercase, now uppercase, now back to lowercase, and so on. 

  • Reply 14 of 55
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,428member

    Handoff activated?

     

    OT: I can now receive (and can accept) cell phone calls on my iPad that were directed to my AT&T iPhone (6+). Both are running 8.0.2. The iPad does have cellular hardware, but receiving calls requires the iPhone and iPad being on the same Wi-Fi network, independent of having the cellular modem active. I can also make phone calls to landlines from the iPad using the FaceTime app. FaceTime says it's using my iPhone to route the call. 

  • Reply 15 of 55
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

     

     

     

    What is your preferred method of Swyping? Thumbs? Index finger?  I might give it another chance. Still seems interesting, especially given that predictive text does absolutely nothing for me. 


     

    Index on my right hand if I'm using the phone with both hands, left thumb if one-handed.  It's pretty fast.  I've tried the others as well, Fleksy, Swiftkey, etc, but Swype is my pick due to speed, accuracy, and privacy. (at least for now, Swype doesn't store user data).

  • Reply 16 of 55
    What I want is a way to swipe out a suggested word that I'll never use.

    I simply tap on the little x, right next to the right of the iOS suggestion.
    I like these tips. Is there a link on the home page where they all can be found?

    http://appleinsider.com/articles/14/09/17/dive-into-ios-8-with-these-handy-tips-for-iphone-and-ipad

    (there's also one tip in my sig)

    edit: just stumbled upon this, was new to me:

    How to use trash and archive options at the same time in iOS 8 Mail

    1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
    2. Tap on Mail, Contacts, Calendars.
    3. Tap on any of your accounts that you want to use trash and archive options with under the Accounts section — if you're using iCloud mail, scroll to the bottom instead and tap on Mail under Advanced and skip to step 5.
    4. Tap on Account at the top.
    5. Tap on Advanced at the bottom.
    6. Under Mailbox Behaviors, make sure you have options set for Deleted and Archived boxes to where you want them.
    7. Under the Move Discard Messages Into section, choose Archive.
    8. Tap Account at the top to return to the previous menu.
    9. Tap Done at the top of the next screen to save any changes.
    10. Tap the back button in the upper left corner to return to the previous menu.
    11. Tap on Swipe Options under the Mail section.
    12. Set Swipe Right to Archive.

    http://www.imore.com/how-use-archive-and-trash-simultaneously-ios-8-mail-app
  • Reply 17 of 55
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Cpsro View Post

     

    Handoff activated?

     

    OT: I can now receive (and can accept) cell phone calls on my iPad that were directed to my AT&T iPhone (6+). Both are running 8.0.2. The iPad does have cellular hardware, but receiving calls requires the iPhone and iPad being on the same Wi-Fi network, independent of having the cellular modem active. I can also make phone calls to landlines from the iPad using the FaceTime app. FaceTime says it's using my iPhone to route the call. 


     

    I discovered this by accident on my iPhone 5s and iPad Air right after the iOS 8 update rolled out.  My phone was downstairs and my wife dialed, my iPad started ringing away.  Pretty cool.

     

    I did notice today (iOS 8.0.2) that I get the Safari icon on my Air if it's nearby while using my iPhone 6.  It works smoothly, not sure if it was there before and I just didn't notice, but it's working now.

     

    Side note - bums me out a little that my iMac doesn't have the bluetooth to support this as well.  

  • Reply 18 of 55
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,428member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by allenbf View Post

     

    Side note - bums me out a little that my iMac doesn't have the bluetooth to support [Handoff] as well.  


    I wonder why Apple doesn't implement it over wi-fi for all Macs, since they have it working over wi-fi between iPad and iPhone. (I keep BT disabled mainly for better battery life.)

  • Reply 19 of 55
    Quote:


     I simply tap on the little x, right next to the right of the iOS suggestion.


    Thanks @PhilBoogie, I do know that one, you tap the little x to the right of the iOS suggestion that appears in the black bubble next to the word, but what I'm actually talking about is the Predictive Text suggestions that appear over the keyboard as you type.

     

    Cheers and thanks.

  • Reply 20 of 55
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post





    I simply tap on the little x, right next to the right of the iOS suggestion.

    http://appleinsider.com/articles/14/09/17/dive-into-ios-8-with-these-handy-tips-for-iphone-and-ipad



    (there's also one tip in my sig)



    edit: just stumbled upon this, was new to me:



    How to use trash and archive options at the same time in iOS 8 Mail

     

    1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.

    2. Tap on Mail, Contacts, Calendars.

    3. Tap on any of your accounts that you want to use trash and archive options with under the Accounts section — if you're using iCloud mail, scroll to the bottom instead and tap on Mail under Advanced and skip to step 5.

    4. Tap on Account at the top.

    5. Tap on Advanced at the bottom.

    6. Under Mailbox Behaviors, make sure you have options set for Deleted and Archived boxes to where you want them.

    7. Under the Move Discard Messages Into section, choose Archive.

    8. Tap Account at the top to return to the previous menu.

    9. Tap Done at the top of the next screen to save any changes.

    10. Tap the back button in the upper left corner to return to the previous menu.

    11. Tap on Swipe Options under the Mail section.

    12. Set Swipe Right to Archive.

    13.  


    http://www.imore.com/how-use-archive-and-trash-simultaneously-ios-8-mail-app

     

     

    This is helpful, thanks!  I'm in the process of moving from gmail to icloud and didn't realize this one.  Cheers.

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