Turning off Predictive Keyboard feature

Discussion in 'iOS 8' started by blairwillis, Sep 18, 2014.

  1. blairwillis macrumors regular

    Jul 24, 2005
    Just a heads up for those of you who find the new Predictive Keyboard feature distracting and potentially creepy: it can be turned off.

    Settings > General > Keyboard > Predictive (switch off)

    Frankly, I had it bring up a few "predictions" which I found a bit intrusive, totally out of context yet too weird to be random. I'm not sure how it is gathering relevant data, but it bothered me. I will elaborate if anyone's interested, but frankly I didn't find the feature useful so I turned it off.
  2. Shawzborne macrumors 6502a


    Jun 12, 2013
    Or you can just hold your finger down on the keyboard smiley or world icon

  3. FreeState macrumors 68000


    Jun 24, 2004
    San Diego, CA
    The more you use it the better it gets, it learns as it goes according to where its being used. For example, if your texting a friend and you use slang it will after a while suggest that slang in that text thread, however it won't suggest those same slang words if you don't use them with your parents or minister.
  4. C DM macrumors Sandy Bridge

    Oct 17, 2011
    Or swipe down on the prediction area above the keyboard to hide it. Plenty of threads covering all the different possibilities.
  5. blairwillis thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 24, 2005
    Very nice! Thanks for the tip.

    This got me thinking, though: do the new third party keyboard apps have the ability to transmit your typing off your device? Surely there are some security measures in place for privacy?
  6. FreeState macrumors 68000


    Jun 24, 2004
    San Diego, CA
    The new keyboards are not used when you enter passwords etc. The information you type however is a security issue and you are warned of it every time you install a keyboard.
  7. blairwillis thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 24, 2005
    shawzborne, what app are you using to view MacRumors?
  8. cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012

    Mine will suggest the same slang I use with my friends as it will for anything or anyone else. I'm even seeing them pop up in tapatalk right now.


    Cool tip. Thanks for that.
  9. furam90 macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2010
    I find that I already type too fast for predictive text to be useful. But I can see it being useful for people who are slower typers or one handers.
  10. thaifood macrumors 6502

    Jun 8, 2011
    I'm the same. I find if I actually look at the predictive options I'm slower overall in typing a message.
  11. powerstrokin macrumors 6502a


    May 18, 2013
    I'd like to hear what you have to say on that.

    I also want to note that whether you have predictive turned on or not, you should assume that your phone is 'thinking about' what you're typing regardless. Also whether it does or not (probably does) anything you transmit (text, email, whatever) is probably (almost certainly) being stored in a government database somewhere. That's just the world we live in today.

    Anyhow, continue with what you were holding back... I'm interested.
  12. Fzang macrumors 65816


    Jun 15, 2013
    I like it because I can focus more closely on the keyboard while writing, because it will show me what the autocorrect is "thinking". I haven't actually pressed it more than a couple of times. Keyboard is still heaps faster.
  13. blairwillis, Sep 20, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2014

    blairwillis thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 24, 2005
    You make a good point. I don't want to turn this into a philosophical discussion on privacy vs security or any of that. But I will explain my situation to where I realized that "something" is going on with the predictive keyboard.

    In my example, I'm going to use different terms, because, well, privacy and all that. So what really made me say "hmmmmm" about the predictive keyboard is this:

    The predictive keyboard starts suggesting words even at the very first letter you've typed. I would expect certain suggestions, but I started seeing a few that were off the wall however *personal* in a way that bothered me. Hypothetical example: Let's say I'm texting someone and typed out "I will see you t" with the "t" intended as the first letter in "tomorrow". I wouldn't be surprised if suggestions said the/tonight/tomorrow/too/etc...., but I was totally caught off guard to see "Triceratops".

    (again, this isn't the exact word, but the situation is 99.9% identical)

    "Triceratops" (with a capital T, no less!) is not anywhere near what I would expect the predictive keyboard to guess in this situation. I'm sure most people would dismiss it as a weird bug. But what if in the past, far before installing iOS 8, I know I would have used the word in some communication, and perhaps that I hobby interest in paleontology, and would have visited a website related to "Triceratops" and other dinosaurs. Such a suggestion then seems less bizarre, but it indicates that the predictive keyboard function is indexing *something*.

    OK, tinfoil hat off, here's my best explanation, based on what other people have said, and a bit of applied logic: The keyboard uses data from an internal custom dictionary, and that data is present from prior to iOS8 and used for the Autocorrect feature. It's already been/being collected. Aside from a few thousand "everyday" words, it indexes more unique words that you might use. And my guess is that they are indexed relevant to how often you've used these words in the past. So if you have a friend with a uniquely spelled name, it will not try to change it to a more commonly used version.

    Yes, it was odd that a unique word like "Triceratops" was suggested when all I had typed was "t" so far. I'm going to chalk that up to an inefficient algorithm in the predictive system. Or who knows, maybe it sensed I wanted to type "Triceratops" before I even knew it myself.

    As I examine the situation, it becomes less creepy, but at the moment, it did freak me out. ("How does this phone know I like dinosaurs?")

    I guess the answer is, duh, everybody likes dinosaurs, right?
  14. powerstrokin macrumors 6502a


    May 18, 2013
    Thinking about it a bit further, as we have, it's safe to assume that the indexing most certainly has been taking place long before iOS 8. I've also noticed the same things you're describing. Is it more weird to see the fruits of that labor or just know it's going on in the background even with predictive turned off?

    The technology exists whether we are using a smart phone or not. Google web crawlers index web pages and blogs etc., Microsoft sees everything going on in Skype. Somewhere, some level of AI is compiling peoples' thoughts and words. What will happen with it all? Time will tell.

    There are fewer and fewer ways to stop participating in this every day, so I think we must just embrace it and see where it takes us. Pandora's box has already been opened. No going back now.

    Still creepy, but as with almost any new thing- it's just the uncertainty about it that makes you take pause. According to what written human history we have right now, we have never gone down this road so as they say- take the road less traveled...with a healthy amount of caution.

Share This Page