I thought my iPhone autocorrect trouble was over when I read about a simple hack that solved the ducking/fucking problem. I solved that problem by creating a new friend in my Contacts whose name is “f$#k s#!t OMG f*#@&g f@*&!n f#*&ed sh*#ting s#!t w/ s#@tty t$#t a!s a$#hole”. This solves the problem by adding my favorite swears into the dictionary the iPhone uses to autocorrect.
Unfortunately, Mr. F#!k is also the only name in my address book that starts with the letter F.
Adding words is easy, but what happens when you want to remove a word? I type the word “for” in text messages and emails every day. Shouldn’t be surprising really, since “for” is a very common word. In fact, according to this list “for” is the 11th most common word in American english. Why then, I ask you, does my iPhone insist on giving me “fir” when I try to type “for”? If you look down at your keyboard, you will see that the letter O and the letter I sit right next to each other. When I press my sausage thumb down nearish to the letter O but maybe just a tiny bit closer to the I, the iPhone gives me “fir”.
Here’s the thing: fir is a great word. Even makes for a great tree. [Ed: corrected contextual error.] But I never say that goddamn word, and especially not in a text message. Because I want to take a word away rather than add one, I can’t solve this problem like I solved with Mr. F#!k.
Xpandr ($2.99) is a premium jailbreak only app available in Cydia. It functions more or less like the popular TextExpander on OSX. You define a short snippet of text, and whenever that snippet is typed Xpandr replaces it with the words of your choice. The most common usage of this kind of app is to streamline the entry of long blobs of text that you always have to type, like email signatures or long urls.
It is suggested that you start your macros with an uncommon character, for example !sig or !address, so you never accidentally expand something which you didn’t intend to. In our case, however, this is exactly the kind of behavior we want! In Xpandr, create a new macro with “fir” as the text you want to expand, and “for” as the value. Now, any time you enter the letters “fir”, Xpandr will replace them with the letters “for”. This works great, most of the time, but when I tried to go to daringfireball.net and got daringFOReball.net instead, I had a problem. To fix this, add a space after the last letter of the macro, like this “fir “. This way, Xpandr won’t kick in until you hit the space bar, preventing accidents like the example above.
Bonus points: Have fun creating macros that use Emoji. Be sure to watch the demo video below to see this in action.