In iOS when you type a word which the device feels fit for auto-correction you get a visual hint as below:

In notes app (more padding surrounds suggested word)

Autocorrect notes example

And in other apps:

Another app example of autocorrection

The functionality is:

  1. When you press the 'X' the autocorrect is cancelled.
  2. If the autocorrect tooltip has appeared it means that the word will be corrected unless you cancel it. typing the punctuation which follows the word will replace immediately (space, full stop, comma)
  3. If you press the word, it will replace instantly.

My issue with the way this works is that 2 and 3 are the same thing. The 'X' is small and difficult to press exactly, and often trying results in pressing the word itself which then replaces the word you're typing. If the autocorrect tooltip has appeared meaning the word will be replaced by default, why does there need to be the option to touch the word for immediate replace? Surely pressing the 'X' should cancel, pressing the word should be functionless, and continuing to type should trigger a replace.

My opinion is just my opinion but I'm interested to see whether more experienced UX pro's think this is slightly problematic from a user's perspective?

  • 1
    IMO this function is horrible. The X is to small... I hope so that apple will correct this in the new iOS version.
    – sysscore
    Commented Jul 18, 2012 at 7:59

2 Answers 2


I don't know why, but your 3rd perception is wrong.

Actually the 1st and 3rd are same.

i.e If you press either the word or the 'X' button, they perform the same function, which is cancelling the suggestion.

Moreover they are not two controls, this is only one control.

  • 1
    Are you sure about that? Could be different iOS versions or something but pressing on the text of the word in the tooltip, on my devices, replaces the word being types with the estimated word
    – TJH
    Commented Jul 17, 2012 at 9:39
  • I've devices iPhone 4s with OS 5.0.1 and iPad2. both are working the same. Commented Jul 17, 2012 at 9:42
  • Oh dear, it looks like you're right, however this is a new thing for sure as I've had several UX discussions about this in the past. Its particularly bad on the ipad when on eBay because the X hovers eBay's own suggestion and precision is vital
    – TJH
    Commented Jul 17, 2012 at 9:47
  • I know where are a few android keyboards that act this way (immediately replacing when you press the suggested word). But then again they also offer alternative ways to delete the word as well as hitting the little 'x', for instance swiping your finger left to delete the current word.
    – rsparis
    Commented Jul 17, 2012 at 23:14
  • I think I have the same problem. Clicking the word will replace it automatically. Clicking the X will cancel the autocorrect for that word. I find it annoying because clicking the X which happens to be very small is a pain!
    – edgarator
    Commented Jul 18, 2012 at 7:49

I found it! When you tap inaccurately outside the boundaries of the actual suggested word (which usually happens to be small enough), then the suggested text would be assumed to be correct and will replace the text.

It has happened to me, that due to the fact that I have fat fingers and I usually type in my phone with the thumbs. then the iOS device thinks that I'm tapping outside the word and will replace the word, which is Annoying!

This happens specially while trying to click the X and clicking on the text area instead - super frustrating

I knew it!

  • 2
    Thank goodness for that I though I was going mental! So it IS a UX fail IMO
    – TJH
    Commented Jul 30, 2012 at 11:05
  • Me too... It happened to me today! I was glad I was able to find the right question still!
    – edgarator
    Commented Jul 30, 2012 at 11:23

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