Um, excuse me?
Of course, it turns out our pal was in a cab, not a can, and she needed an Excedrin, not an exception.
So it goes with the iPhone’s sometimes helpful, sometimes not-so-much “auto-correct” feature, which serves up suggestions for misspelled words—or words it thinks you’ve misspelled, anyway—as you type.
Sure, you can always tap the little word pop-up word bubble to nix an inappropriate suggestion; more often than not, though, many of us end up dashing off text messages that are far more … ah, interesting than we’d originally intended.
Just to be clear, the iPhone isn’t the only smartphone with an auto-correct feature—in fact, just about any cell phone worth its salt has one.
Android phones, for example, typically display all your auto-correct options in a handy bar just above the keyboard, while even the cheapest “feature” phones will offer up suggestions while you’re typing on a numeric keypad.
But there’s something about the iPhone’s easy-to-miss word bubbles that makes rapid-fire typists like me especially prone to sending out some rather cryptic (or worse, embarrassing) text messages.
So, before I show you how to turn off auto-correct on your iPhone or Android phone, I ask you: what’s your best iPhone (or Android) auto-correct fail? What words or names will your iPhone relentlessly try to fix? Send ’em along (either in the comments below, or via email), and I’ll include the best ones in a future post.
And now—how to turn off auto-correct, if you really want to…
For the iPhone:
- From the home screen, tap Settings, General, Keyboard.
- Tap the “On/Off” switch next to “Auto-Correction.”
- While you’re at it, you can also turn off auto-capitalization, as well as the iPhone’s spell checker; just tap the appropriate on/off switches.
- Tap the Applications button, then launch the Settings app.
- Tap “Language and keyboard,” and (depending on the make and model of your phone) “Android keyboard.” You may also see some other types of keyboards listed, including “Swype” or a custom keyboard by your phone manufacturer. To find out which keyboard you’re using, see what’s listed under “Select Input Method”; if you see, say, “Android keyboard” selected, go ahead and choose the Android keyboard settings.
- For those of you using Android keyboards, uncheck the box next to “Auto-complete”; you can also clear out the checkboxes for “Quick fixes” and “Show suggestions,” if you wish.
- If you’re using a custom keyboard, look for an “Auto-complete” or “XT9” predictive-text option under its settings menu, and turn them off.
Note: If you do go ahead and turn auto-complete off, don’t be surprised if you miss its help after sending a few especially garbled text messages.