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How to stop the bizarre iPhone bug that turns ‘I’ into an ‘A’ and a symbol

Zach Epstein
November 6th, 2017 at 7:34 PM
iOS 11.1 I Bug

Where there is software, there will always be bugs. It’s simply the nature of the beast. Some bugs are a bit stranger than others though, and the new one that’s annoying iPhone and iPad users around the world definitely falls on the stranger end of the spectrum. When typing the letter “I” followed by a space, Apple’s iOS software should leave the letter on its own. I, after all, is a pretty common word in the English language. For some bizarre reason, however, the latest version of iOS has been auto-correcting “I” and changing it to the letter “A” followed by a few spaces and a symbol that shows a question mark in a box.

It’s an odd bug to say the least, and it has really been annoying to iPhone users ever since iOS 11.1 was released. Thankfully, we have good news to share. First, Apple has acknowledged the bug and is working on a fix. Second, there’s a way to stop this weird bug from happening right now, and we’ll show you how to do it.

For those still unclear as to how this bug works, here’s a screenshot that will show you exactly what we’re talking about:

So, for those affected, any sentence that begins with the letter “I” will be auto-corrected to instead begin with “A” followed by two spaces and a question mark in a box. Needless to say, no one ever intends to type an “A” followed by two spaces and a question mark in a box in place of the letter I, so auto-correct has clearly gone haywire.

In a new support document on its website, Apple has acknowledged the issue and confirmed that a fix is in the works. With any luck, it’ll be issued alongside the release of iOS 11.2, the first beta of which hit developer devices and public beta users last week. In the meantime, however, Apple offers a workaround that most people seem to be having luck with. All you need to do is configure a new text replacement shortcut. Here are the steps:

  • Go to Settings > General > Keyboard > Text Replacement
  • Tap +
  • In the Phrase field, type an uppercase “I”
  • In the Shortcut field, type a lowercase “i”

That should do the trick. If not, you’ll unfortunately just have to deal with the bug until Apple releases a permanent fix in an upcoming iOS update.

Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.

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