Enable a Hidden Auto-Correct & Auto-Complete Word Suggestion Bar in iOS 5

Nov 9, 2011 - 17 Comments

autocorrect suggestion bar in iOS

A hidden autocorrect suggestion bar has been uncovered in iOS, and with a bit of patience you can enable it yourself with any iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch running iOS 5+. The discovery was made by iOS developer Sonny Dickson, who provides the details on how to edit your iOS backups to turn the feature on without a jailbreak. This is pretty easy to follow, but it helps if you have even a tiny amount of experience editing markup or code:

  • Download the iBackupBot free trial (Windows & Mac OS X versions available) and install it
  • Launch iTunes and backup your iPhone, iPod, or iPad
  • Launch iBackupBot and from the left side “iTunes Backups” list, click the backup you just made with iTunes and let the backup info load
  • From the Path list on the right, find Library/Preferences/com.apple.keyboard.plist – you’ll get a warning about iBackupBot not being registered but click cancel and you can edit the file anyway
  • Add a new line between the ‘dict’ tags and paste in the following:
  • <key>KeyboardAutocorrectionLists</key>
    <string>YES</string>

  • Save the changes and close out the plist, then click on the little “Restore” icon highlighted below from within iBackupBot to copy the edited backup file to your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch

Restore from iBackupBot

Now anywhere you would typically see the iOS keyboard, start typing and you’ll see the completion recommendation bar fill in with suggested words or corrections. This is a typing feature that is widely used on Android phones, but for some reason or another Apple has decided against including in currently shipping versions of iOS.

Word Correction and suggestion bar in iOS

If you’re going to attempt these tweaks on your own, it’d be wise to make a manual copy of iOS backup files, you can find those locally on your drive.

This is the second such finding this week, the first being a hidden panoramic camera option that can also be enabled through practically identical methods as those mentioned above.

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Posted by: William Pearson in iPad, iPhone, Tips & Tricks

17 Comments

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  1. Mick says:

    Worst feature ever.

    After enabling it I found that once you have typed a word, even when you have typed the word correctly the ‘spacebar’ stays as ‘confirm’, you find yourself typing away and hitting space expecting expecting a space and all that is happening is auto correct is selecting the next word it thinks is correct.

    The built in auto correct is much easier and faster to use

  2. […] X Daily legt uitgebreid uit hoe je de functie kunt activeren. Daarvoor moet je in je laatste back-up snuffelen, wat code […]

  3. Miktia says:

    Haha. It suggests “Helsinki” Capital city of Finland… Interesting…

  4. […] Enable a Hidden Auto-Correct & Auto-Complete Word Suggestion Bar in iOS 5 Enable a Hidden Auto-Correct & Auto-Complete Word Suggestion Bar in iOS 5… Source: osxdaily.com […]

  5. Wynn says:

    Works flawlessly on my iPhone 4s. The keyboard plist doesn’t exist in my iPad2.

  6. Hussien says:

    Looks very Andriod like that bar. Not surprising

  7. Subbarao says:

    Could not find keyboard.plist file on my iPhone 4 IOS5. So I added the string to the GlobalPreferences.plist and it worked!!

  8. sdwra says:

    It works. I think these are future features coming in iOS 5.1?

  9. Fresh Prince says:

    I saw the Tweet and yes it can be done with iFile but you have to be jailbroken. File is located at:

    /private/var/mobile/Library/Preferences/

    Make the change and save, reboot, enjoy.

  10. Dave says:

    No joy.

    After the restore I have the same iPhone 4 running ios5 as I did before.

  11. plexus says:

    It worked however you have to hit “confirm” after each word in order to get a space bar. so for the effort its not worth the feature as currently implemented. alas.

  12. Jason says:

    How do you disable it? Makes it to hard to type.

  13. Brian Ragle says:

    Like others here, this “hack” is utterly useless. It’s quite obvious why Apple left it disabled as it has a LONG way to go. The panorama feature, by contrast was at least usable and neat. A little rough around the edges but still does what it is supposed to do.

  14. Paul says:

    can’t seem to remove it. i get either an error 10 or error 19. pls help.

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