Predictive text on the iPhone: what's it like?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by zarusoba, Jun 13, 2008.

  1. zarusoba macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2006
    Location:
    Australia
    #1
    (From someone who has never touched an iPhone.)

    Do you use predictive text on the iPhone? How does it work?

    When I was in Japan, I got used to using phones with really effective predictive text (albeit Japanese only). The bottom half of the screen was occupied by a list of possible words that you might want to use. The phone had an extensive dictionary and it would remember all your favourite words.

    Back in Australia, I returned to the bad old days of clunky English predictive text that most people don't want to use.

    What can you tell me about predictive text on the iPhone, in English and/or Japanese?
     
  2. elbirth macrumors 65816

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    Jan 19, 2006
    Location:
    North Carolina, US
    #2
    I've only really used an iPod touch, but it uses the same thing as the iPhone

    basically, as you're typing, it analyzes what letters you're hitting and queries its dictionary to find out what word you might be typing. then, if you spell, for example, "iphome" it'll know you meant to spell "iphone" and suggest that (and it will also suggest words before you're finished typing as well, not just fixing misspellings). if it's right, you simply hit the space bar and it'll fill it in and move on. it also adjusts the size of the tap zone on the keyboard for words based on what you're typing. for example, if you're typing a word that has "qu" in it, in the english language it's a pretty safe bet to assume the next letter witll be an "e" so it'll make the tap zone on the "e" larger so you're less likely to hit the wrong key.

    as I understand it, it's better for its learning algorithm for you to go on and type and be a bit messy and not worry about perfectly hitting each key straight on. it will learn how you type and what mistakes you're making and begin to adjust itself to your typing style to make you more accurate. I've found that it actually works incredibly well.
     
  3. zarusoba thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Feb 3, 2006
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    Australia
    #3
    Thanks elbirth.

    Does it give you a list of words to choose from, or is there no room for that?

    When they release the iPhone in Japan, there gonna have to have top quality predictive text!
     
  4. friekunater macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    #4
    typing on an iPhone is great! I hate all these videos on youtube on all that say how hard it is to type on an iPhone because you always hit the wrong key... well, you do always hit the wrong key, but 95% of the time it knows what you're saying.

    from randomly using the Japanese because it looks cool (せえ は い めあん??) I can say that I really don't know how good it is now but I think it will be much better with 2.0

    btw, that was supposed to say "see what I mean??". is that what it really said??

    (い ぉう゛ぇてぃじゃぱねせ けぼあ!)
     
  5. zarusoba thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Australia
    #5
    Well, I don't know what the friekunater you said, but my translation is: "Rapid picture yes eye bean paste".:D
     
  6. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #6
    It actually said "see what I mean" in English written in Hiragana.... :p

    The predictive text isn't bad. It knows a lot of words -- a surprisingly large number of things. On the other hand, the one thing that I find mildly irritating about it is that it only makes its prediction (it's just one predicted option at a time, I believe) based on an exact length match -- that is, if you type a word and it misses registering one of the taps, so say you type "yesterday" but you miss the "e" (that was a random example, not necessarily that that particular one would happen), and so you type in ysterday or some variant of that, it won't guess the right word because the number of characters don't match -- it'll try to guess words that begin with ys or alternates of the y and s, rather than a much closer real word with a missing character.

    Correspondingly, if your taps stray vertically from the bottom row, you end up hitting the space bar, and since it goes by character length, it assumes you're on a new word and can't autocorrect errors that involve hitting the space bar.

    All in all though, it does work surprisingly well after you've become accustomed to it. The biggest positive is just how large the library of words is. It is able to autocorrect moderately uncommon words just as well as common words.
     
  7. zarusoba thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Australia
    #7
    Well, anything looks good in Hiragana, eh?

    Is there any option of typing into the iPhone like on a normal phone? That is, with a standard cell-phone style keypad displayed on the screen? And what about handwriting recognition with a stylus?
     
  8. eplchamps0304 macrumors 6502a

    eplchamps0304

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2008
    #8
    Its garbage from my own experience on the ipod touch. It brings up words that make no sense and sometimes doesnt even work.
     
  9. Rigsby macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2007
    #9
    I have to go with most of the previous postings. Typing on the iPhone is extremely easy. The trick is to learn to trust the phone, which is easier said than done, but when you do, it's amazing how quickly you can type.

    My real bugbear with it is that it doesn't seem to correct capitalised words. I guess that's because it assumes it is a proper noun which may not need correcting, but it's annoying that, for example, 'lpnfon' will correct to London, but 'Lpnfon' will not. Another annoyance is 'uk' always becomes 'I'm' - when, obviously, many people want to enter UK.
     
  10. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
    #10
    It's pretty awesome. It keeps me from needing to delete stuff as much. If I actually type something like bastball, it knows I mean baseball. It's pretty seamless if you need that corrected, so you just keep on typing as if you didn't make the mistake.

    However, if you're typing in stuff that is meant to be misspelled, it will slow you down. You just have to remember to hit the little "X" before the space button or it'll auto-correct your word.

    I think the feature works most everywhere except in data entry boxes in Safari for stuff like usernames and passwords.
     
  11. matthew858 macrumors member

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    Apr 15, 2008
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #11
    It actually said "see ha i mean
     
  12. .Andy macrumors 68030

    .Andy

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    Jul 18, 2004
    Location:
    The Mergui Archipelago
    #12
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPod; U; CPU like Mac OS X; en) AppleWebKit/420.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.0 Mobile/4A93 Safari/419.3)

    I'm posing this from my iphone nose and it's great! The occasional word is wrong but overall not too bard.
     
  13. zarusoba thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Australia
    #13
    Thanks for the insights.

    Well, I'm keen to see what Japanese input is like in use. It better be as good or better than what's available on other phones, or Japanese won't go for it in a big way.

    Personally I prefer a display that gives you a range of possible words to choose from. For example, when I typed す (su) on my Toshiba phone, it would show a bunch of favourite words starting with that character: すし (sushi)、すごい (sugoi) etc.
     
  14. AdeFowler macrumors 68020

    AdeFowler

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2004
    Location:
    England
    #14
    Made me chuckle :D

    How does it compare to using a normal mobile phone's keypad?
     
  15. Sweetbike40 macrumors 65816

    Sweetbike40

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    Aug 29, 2007
    Location:
    NY/NJ
    #15
    LOL!!!!
    well, I personally find it frustrating at times. I'll be typing away and then realize I missed most of the keys. Also I forget to hit the x button and then it fills in the wrong word. But I am getting better st it. Takes practice.
     
  16. Sweetbike40 macrumors 65816

    Sweetbike40

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    Location:
    NY/NJ
    #16
    It is still MUCh better than a regular phone!!!! That is for sure. I just got a blackjack ii yesterday and I find even the full keyboard on that needs practice because of the keys having 2 uses. I bailed on the iPhone because of an expensive 2 year data plan contract. Also because of the keyboard. But as I'm using the Touch keyboard (for these posts) I'm finding it easier.

    Edit: I MAY change my mind come 7/11 and go for the iPhone. If at&t would at least include some text messaging in the $30 I'm in.
     
  17. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #17
    Ars Technica might have more on the Japanese input. It sounds like it may actually have a finger writing recognition engine -- like you trace kanji / kana onto the screen and get options to pick from. I don't really see a sensible way it could do Japanese without having multiple options per pronunciation. English is somewhat different than Japanese in that sense -- we have a lot more words and a lot more sounds than you do, and so this issue comes up somewhat less in English.
     
  18. gloss macrumors 601

    gloss

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    May 9, 2006
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    around/about
    #18
    The iPhone works similarly for Japanese. You type in Romanji and it brings up a list in realtime of all the hiragana/katakana/kanji it thinks you might be shooting for. So, I type 'su' and I get 'su', then the appropriate kana, then a bunch of kanji. If I type 'sushi', then it displays 'すし' and various other kanji combinations.

    So, in the current firmware, you work in Romanji. I'm sure this will be improved in the 2.0 release.

    (edit: It looks like it also error corrects, to a degree. I typed 'susi' and it still brought up 'すし' as the primary suggestion.)
     
  19. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #19

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