It would be nice to have context-aware autocorrect in iOS

A brief complaint about a frequent frustration

I’m going to start this kvetch session with a few bullets for context:

  • I am hugely dependent on iOS Share Sheets to pass information back and forth between the apps and services that I use to keep my life “organized.”
  • The underlying concept that ties this mess together is a not-quite-by-the-book implementation of Getting Things Done.
  • I have a terrible short term memory so I add a lot of extra context to items when I’m creating tasks or reminders.
  • The three previous points are starting to make me feel like an edge case?

Point being: if I’m going to type something into an iOS Share Sheet, that extra context will always be related to the item that I’m sharing.

In the example above, I wanted to save a URL into Omnifocus about John Gruber’s recent appearance on the Recode Media podcast. Unfortunately, autocorrect thought that maybe instead of “Gruber,” I would be happier with “Bruner,” the last name of some fine folks on our Christmas Card list and a word that I literally haven’t typed on purpose since I saved their address seven years ago. I deleted Bruner and retyped Gruber only to have be re-Brunerified. The third attempt got me Grindr which is at least hilarious and absurd I mean how often do I type “Grindr” ha ha ha ha ha.

If you’re asking a developer “how hard would it be to…” the answer is always “impossible.”

As a professional web developer at an ad agency, I spend 90% of my project planning time telling account people to go find more money to implement what the designers have dreamed up. I know that if you’re asking a developer “how hard would it be to…” the answer is always “impossible.” That said, how hard would it be to take the page content into account when suggesting and autocorrecting? The word “Gruber” is in the URL that gets attached to the Omnifocus note and is in the body of the page at least 8 times, plus the title. It’s contextually relevant by definition. It seems like low-hanging fruit.

Anyway. I’m sure Android already does this and if it doesn’t then what I want is dumb or of use to so few people as to make it irrelevant. I probably shouldn’t even be spending these thoughts on feature requests for pocket computers when you have police murdering black men in the streets. But then again, if literally every thumb tap was fully devoted to advancing the Greater Good, none would be devoted to making it easier to spread the idea that Black Lives Matter.