How To Enable iOS 5’s Hidden Autocorrect Keyboard

At some point we’ve all complained about iOS autocorrect. There’s even a website — damnyouautocorrect.com — dedicated to laughing at the worst autocorrect fails. However, it looks like Apple is planning on doing something about it in future iOS releases, and the beginning of that has been uncovered as a hidden feature in iOS 5.

How To Enable iOS 5's Hidden Autocorrect KeyboardIf you have used Android 2.3 Gingerbread or a custom Android keyboard like SwifyKey, the image to the right might look pretty familiar to you. Instead of autocorrect guessing which word you want and giving you two options — either the suggested word or whatever you entered — those Android keyboards provide you with a list of possible completions above the keyboard. It looks like Apple is going down this route as well, and this new autocorrect keyboard can be enabled on any iOS 5 device (without even jailbreaking first).

If you want to try out this promising new feature, here are the instructions.

First, you’ll need iBackupBot, a program that allows you to modify the backups of iOS installations that iTunes creates. Download the software from the link and install it on your computer. Next, hook up your iOS device to iTunes and make a backup. Make sure that your backup is not encrypted (there’s a checkbox that says “Encrypt iPhone Backup” in the iOS devices’ settings page on iTunes; it needs to be unchecked).

How To Enable iOS 5's Hidden Autocorrect KeyboardNext, open up iBackupBot and find the backup that you just created. In this case, I picked the backup from today, Thursday, November 10. Scroll down the list of files until you find Library/Preferences/com.apple.keyboard.plist, and then open the file.

Finally, add in the following string to that file underneath the others:

<key>KeyboardAutocorrectionLists</key><string>YES</string>

Once the string has been entered, save the backup, and go back into iTunes. From there, restore the backup you just edited. Your iPhone will restart, restore the backup, and once you get the keyboard open, the autocorrect keyboard will be there waiting for you. It’s that easy! If for any reason you want to go back, simply remove that string from the backup file and restore again.

What do you think of this new hidden feature?

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