What You Need to Know About the Improved Autocorrect on iOS 17

For starters, cursing is now integrated into your iPhone keyboard.

Nelson Aguilar
Nelson Aguilar is an LA-based tech how-to writer and graduate of UCLA. With more than a decade of experience, he covers Apple and Google and writes on iPhone and Android features, privacy and security settings and more.
Nelson Aguilar
3 min read
iphone with messages on screen

The new autocorrect is part of iOS 17.

Apple/Screenshot by James Martin

Apple has fixed the biggest issue with autocorrect, thanks to iOS 17. The biggest change to autocorrect is that you can now curse without having your swear words changed to something else -- your f-bombs will no longer magically change to "duck" or "ducking." But that's just the beginning. 

Autocorrect has improved as a whole, with inline predictive text and a more customized experience, learning from how you type.

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The iPhone's keyboard on iOS 17 leverages a transformer model, similar to what OpenAI (the company behind ChatGPT) uses in its own language models, to learn from what you type on your keyboard to better predict what you might say next, whether it's a name, phrase or curse word.

If you've downloaded iOS 17 (here's our full guide on getting the latest software update) and want to learn more about typing on your phone, here's everything you need to know about autocorrect.

Autocorrect's accuracy has improved

As mentioned before, autocorrect now fixes mistakes for you in a more accurate manner by taking advantage of a new transformer language model in iOS 17. 

In short, a transformer language model is a complex software program designed to handle language in a sophisticated way. It's trained by certain data, and then learns context and patterns to provide improved results, mimicking how humans think and speak. It's how ChatGPT is able to give you such complicated answers.

And in that same way, the transformer language model on iOS 17 learns from what you type and gives you autocorrect options that are more accurate -- and customized to what you might say.

Note: This technology is only available on the English, French and Spanish keyboards.

You can now curse without being 'corrected'

Your keyboard will add curse words and other explicit language that you often use to your personal vocabulary list. It learns your usage in each application (maybe you curse in Messages but not on Twitter) and then provides you with tailored autocorrections, suggestions and predictive text.

If you want to write fuck, you'll no longer have to worry about that being corrected to duck. And shit won't become shut. The list goes on.

There's also inline predictive text

The new transformer language model also now provides you with single- and multi-word predictions directly within the text field you're typing in. For example, I could write something like "Have you watched the new episode of The Wa..." and autocorrect will give me an inline prediction of The Walking Dead.

If you receive inline predictive text and want to complete it without continuing to type, simply hit the space bar to enter the predictive text into the text field.

Predictive text on iOS 17

You can see that inline predictive text on iOS 17 can help you finish your sentences faster. (The predictive text is in light gray.)

Nelson Aguilar/CNET

Note: This feature is only available on the iPhone 12 and later.

Autocorrections are easier to edit

Autocorrect isn't perfect, and so there may be times when you're autocorrected when you don't want to be -- or shouldn't be. This could happen when you're using slang or even using a person's name that isn't spelled in a common way. Whatever the reason, you need an easy way to go back.

On iOS 17, newly autocorrected words and sentences are temporarily underlined so that you can easily see the corrections. If you're unhappy with any correction, you can tap on the underlined word or words to view what you originally wrote, as well as other autocorrect options.

Autocorrect editing on iOS 17

You can either go back to what you originally wrote or choose another autocorrect option (if available).

Nelson Aguilar/CNET