iPhone's Future Keyboard Could Make Keys Larger Without You Noticing

Apple has been granted a patent for a predictive text keyboard on mobile devices that will automatically increase the size of touch targets without changing visually. Although this patent is bit confusing in concept, it's execution makes sense. In fact, the idea of implementing this idea without visual indicators actually makes this whole idea much more functional.

Imagine you're trying to type the word xenotype on your smartphone. What if, after a few letters, your phone knew that's the word (or words) you want to type but doesn't want to be too invasive. Instead, it quietly enlarges the radius of the trigger zone for the next possible letters in succession without visually tipping you off to this in any way. So as you reach for the O key and your finger accidentally hits P or I, the phone will still recognise it as O.

Surely there will still be a way to intuitively override this in case you're intentionally misspelling a word or simply typing something uncommon. But this idea for predictive text is brilliant because it's helpful without overwhelming the user. It's something I'd like to see become real in the near near future (if it isn't already). [AppleInsider]


Comments

    I thought they already did this. I've noticed something similar since at least iOS 4. Are they just getting the patent now?

      That's what i was going to say, iPhones have been doing that for years, possibly even since iOS3 if not earlier.

    I'm pretty sure this feature has been available since the first iPhone, just now they are getting a patent for it.

    And there are apps on Android that have a similar effect... but they have visual changes too, and the keys changing sizes gets annoying.

    Windows Phone I believe already does this too.

    this explains why iOS text typing is so much more accurate even before predictive text correction.

      Get real, it's the worst of all the phones and offers the most unusual suggestions. Android was the best I ever used.

    WP7 already does this: http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/news/features/wp7keyboard-042811.aspx.

    Note: I'm not saying that IOS or Android don't as well.

      I think everyone (including iOS) already do this. The patent probably means open season for Apple's lawyers 5 years down the track.

    iOS has done this for ages. Patent has only just been awarded it seems.

    this might be all well and good for drunks or people who can't spell, but it has been a source of frustration for me for a long time. if i press p, i want the letter p to come out. without the boundaries of a physical key to provide you with feedback about whether or not you hit the button you had intended to hit, i can see this type of automatic correction actually making people worse typists because it will positively reinforce incorrect typing and confuse/destroy muscle memory.

    Yeah it already does this so must just be patent coming through - ios does some pretty handy predictive touch target stuff across the board which is very noticeable in its absence when converting an existing ios app to other platforms

    Apple will only sue Android. They wont touch Microsoft.
    MS and Apple have a 'do not sue' rule between them.

    It has been doing this since iOS 1.0 http://pogue.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/06/27/iphone-keyboard-secrets/

    The same thing is on android. All they are doing is taking out the patent so they can, once again sue people for inventing things before apple get to. Everyone knows Apples true slogan is "all your ideas belong to us"

      What would you do with yourself if business didnt revolve around patents and suing? Make meaningful comments?

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