Apple files patents for enhanced autocorrect and automated language input selection

The US Patent and Trademark Office has published a pair of Apple patent filings, one which describes a new, enhanced autocorrect system and the there describing a method in which a message’s keyboard language is automatically set based on context.

autocorrect patent

The patent filing concerning autocorrect, snappily named “Transient Panel Enabling Message Correction Capabilities Prior to Data Submission”, is an interesting adaption of the existing autocorrect feature found on iOS and OS X.

As described in the filing, the system would allow the smartphone user to write and send a message and then review any autocorrected words before the message is actually transmitted to the recipient. Currently, a user only has the chance to change autocorrected words whilst typing or before pressing send – the new system would give the user a second chance, if activated.

Apple points out the system would be time-limited to not interrupt the flow of communication. To achieve this, 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 “Fix Errors” is pressed, for example, a so-called “transient panel” is shown displaying a number of suggestions for incorrect words. The system could learn, as autocorrect does today, to suggest words a user selects often or prevent words the user rarely selects from being suggested.

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

language selection patent

The second patent application published describes a system for automatic keyboard language selection based on contextual factors dubbed “Automatically Changing a Language for Electronic Messages”.

According to the filing, the system can determine which language keyboard to present by scanning the received message to which the user is replying as well as the metadata associated with the contact. For example, a message received that is determined to be in Spanish would prompt a Spanish layout keyboard to be presented for the user to reply with.

This system would prevent the need to manually enable a keyboard language from the settings and manually select that keyboard before composing a reply.

iOS is already capable of remembering which keyboard language to present for particular conversations in its Messages app (it pulls up the last used keyboard per message conversation, perfect for multilingual users who communicate in different languages to different people). However, each global keyboard has to be enabled in Settings first, then manually selected in the conversation for the first time. The system in this patent would seemingly remove that process.

The patent filing also describes a situation where there are multiple recipients with different language suggestions, the phone may ask the user to select a keyboard, or use the default language.

Apple’s automatic language selection patent was first filed for in 2012 and credits Alessandro Pelosi as its inventor.

Via: Apple Insider

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