Saturday, October 29, 2011

The iPhone Keyboard Dictionary, Predictive Text / Spelling Auto-Correct

Predictive text on the iPhone comes from a user dictionary or database that learns new words as you type. When typing from some applications on your iPhone, when you reject a spelling correction the word that you originally typed is added to the dictionary on your iPhone. There are also ways to manually include new words in the iPhone User Dictionary as well.

Manually add words to the iPhone Dictionary

1. Typing Words in Applications

I have found that there are a few apps that can be used to update the user dictionary to include new words. I’m sure that there are more, but I have been successful in updating the dictionary so far with the following applications:
  • Messages (typing text messages) - by rejecting an auto-correct suggestion
  • Safari (entering a word into the Google Search Field) - By searching for the new word
  • Contacts - Including the new word in one of the fields available when creating a contact. As this requires creating a contact, I was reusing the same contact for updating the dictionary instead of adding a new one for each word to keep things tidy, but abandoned the method in favor of the manual solutions described below.

2. Manually Customise the Dictionary

Prior to iOS 5 (I haven’t got the following working since upgrading to iOS5), you could add a second International keyboard for another language to your iPhone, which enabled a new option on the Keyboard settings page to “Edit User Dictionary...”. I found the post Add words to your iPhone's dictionary that demonstrates this process.

After installing iOS 5 a new “Shortcuts” option is available, also on the Keyboard settings page. The Shortcuts feature allows you to enter a phrase, and associate with a shortcut. Adding a new word as a Phrase without a shortcut also includes the new word in your iPhone dictionary so that it is no longer auto-corrected.

Disable Auto-Correction

To disable auto-correct on your iPhone all-together, turn off the option on the Keyboard settings page:

Settings -> General -> Keyboard -> tap Auto-Correction to turn it off.

If disabling auto-correct, you may also want to disable the “Check Spelling” option as well o the same page.

Clear / Reset the iPhone Dictionary

To remove all custom words that have been added to your iPhone Dictionary when typing, you can use the Reset Keyboard Dictionary option:

Using the “Reset” settings / options for your iPhone:
  1. Open the “General” Settings page
  2. Select the “Reset” option
  3. On the Reset page, tap the “Reset Keyboard Dictionary” option.

iOS5 Update Installation Steps on iPhone 4 - Error Restoring iPhone after iOS5 Update

Today I installed the iOS5 Update on my iPhone 4. The process eventually completed successfully, but I received an error after the initial restore of my data and settings after the update had installed. In this article I explain the steps to install the iOS5 update.

The first thing that I did was to make a backup of the iPhone in it’s working state with iOS4 installed. (Right click on the iPhone from under “DEVICES” in iTunes and selected Backup). This probably isn’t necessary as part of the update is to make a backup of all data and settings on the iPhone, but I like to be safe than sorry.

I then pressed the Update button after selecting my iPhone from the devices in iTunes, which displayed a message saying that all data, apps, etc. would be backed up and restored after the software update. The iOS5 Software update downloaded to my PC and started installing.

The update installed ok on my iPhone, which was shortly followed by the phone connecting and disconnecting a series of times as the updated drivers/software were recognised by my computer.

The next phase was “Restoring iPhone from backup...”

The process of restoring data and settings to the iPhone completed after 5 to 10 minutes (status bar reached 100%), but the following error displayed after the restore appeared to finish:

(An error occurred while restoring this iPhone (-1).

The iPhone was on, but had the languages scrolling across the screen and an option at the bottom to select a language. iOS5 appeared to be working on my iPhone, but as it was asking for me to select my language it appeared as though the new OS was a fresh install without my previous settings. I didn’t select a language on the iPhone, and instead returned to iTunes.

I pressed OK to the error message...

A second message was the displayed saying

“iTunes was interrupted while restoring the contents of the iPhone “iPhone Name”. Would you like to restore this iPhone again now?

I selected the “Continue Restore” option...

After the process completed, a success message was displayed and the iPhone reset.

After turning back on, a “Restoring iPhone apps...” dialog appeared in iTunes, and ran for a few minutes.

After this completed, the next dialog was “Restoring iPhone music and videos”, which also ran for around 10 minutes.

My iPhone displayed the following message, with a “Continue” button at the bottom of the screen:

Your iPhone was restored successfully.
There are just a few more steps to follow and you’re done.

After pressing Continue, a screen requesting for Location Services settings appeared with the following options:
  • Enable Location Services
  • Disable Location Services
I selected the Enable option (my preference), and pressed the “Next” button.

The next screen asked which Wifi Network to connect to. The same secured wireless network that I was connected to prior to installing the Update was available in the list, which was preselected so I pressed Next.

The next screen asks to sign in with an Apple ID or create a Free Apple ID. I selected the Sign in option and entered my ID and password.

Next: Set Up iCloud (iCloud enables you to store images, documents, apps, calendars remotely using your Apple ID, and access them seamlessly from other devices including your PC or Mac).

I am not setting up iCloud at this point with my iPhone, so selected the “Don’t Use iCloud” option and pressed Next.

The next (and final) screen asks if you would like to send diagnostics and usage information to Apple. After selecting my preference and selecting yes, the final message is displayed:

Your iPhone is now set up.
You’re ready to start using the most advanced iOS ever.

Everything was back up and running on the new iOS 5, my data had been restored successfully including iTunes media and apps.  Back in business...

One thing I noticed after upgrading to iOS5 was that a large number of emails that I had previously read from each of my accounts were now marked as unread.


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Finger Lovin' - Short Film Shot on iPhone 4

Today I came across a short film called Finger Lovin' that I found quite amusing.  The film runs for just a few minutes and tells of a love story between two fingers...  Definitely worth the laugh!

What I found interesting, was that the film was shot on an iPhone 4 using the 8mm Vintage Camera film app on a "rainy day" with a $0 budget and edited using iMovie on an iMac.  Props used in the film were selected based on what was literally within reach at the time the film was shot.

Read more, and watch the film here: Finger Lovin' - iPhone 4 + iMovie Short Film