Apple’s first iPhone was unveiled seven years ago and plenty has changed since the original model debuted. One thing that hasn’t really changed, however, is Apple’s terrible autocorrect technology. Intended to detect and correct typing mistakes on iOS devices’ virtual keyboards, the system is beloved when it does its job well. When it doesn’t do its job well, however, disaster strikes (check out January’s 11 worst autocorrect fails for some good examples). Apple and other mobile device makers are constantly investigating new ways to improve their autocorrect offerings, and new technology recently patented by Apple could be the missing piece to solving the autocorrect puzzle.
A patent application titled “Transient Panel Enabling Message Correction Capabilities Prior to Data Submission” was published on Thursday by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and discovered by Cult Of Mac.
Cutting through the jargon, the technology described within the patent application basically describes a system that would allow users to fix mistakes they catch after tapping the send button but before the message is actually transmitted. You know, right at that moment when horror strikes as you look up to see an embarrassing mistake and realize there’s nothing you can do to stop it.
“A programmable device such as a smart phone allows a user an opportunity to make final corrections to textual data in a message after the user has instructed the device to send the message, but before transmittal of the message,” Apple said while describing its new technology covered by the patent application. “The opportunity is temporary, to avoid impeding the flow of communication, and the textual data is transmitted unmodified if the opportunity to modify it is not accepted. Modifications made during the opportunity period may be used to adapt an autocorrect functionality of the programmable device.”
Apple originally applied for the patent back in July 2012, but there is no telling when, or even if, the company will make this great technology available on iOS devices.