Tips to Add Words to iPhone’s Dictionary

You might have noticed that your iPhone doesn't know the swear words. We had also provided couple of tricks to teach your iPhone to swear.

iPhone expert, Erica Sadun, who also blogs at Ars Technica decided to investigate as the trick of typing the swear word two or three times and canceling the auto-correct pop-up each time did not work too well all the time.

What she found out was quite surprising but at the same time quite useful for iPhone users.

Erica first goes on to explain where the database of where the user word database was stored:

"That database is stored in the "mobile" user directory, in
/private/var/mobile/Library/Keyboard. The file is called
dynamic-text.dat. It consists of a (mostly) plain text list of words
that the iPhone has marked for special attention.

The auto-correct feature is based on the list of words in the user word database file or iPhone's dictionary. So she set out to do some tests to find out when the user word database gets updated.

"I fired up the Notes application and started typing words in an attempt to see how many repetitions it would take until the dictionary "learned" them. About an infinite number, it would appear. I say this because, after typing and typing and typing, the last modified date for my dynamic-text.dat file remained yesterday.

-rw——- 1 mobile mobile 1244 Jan 15 18:40 dynamic-text.da

It wasn't until I left Notes and hopped over to Mobile Safari that I was able to make any difference at all. In Mobile Safari, I opened a new browser, typed the same words into the Google search field and, in the words of Steve Jobs, boom. Just as one would hope, the dynamic-text.dat file immediately updated without any further repetition needed. I could also see the words by looking through the file.

-rw——- 1 mobile mobile 1359 Jan 16 11:51 dynamic-text.da

To test my update, I then returned to Notes and tried typing my words
again. This time, Notes immediately recognized my new additions as
correct, without offering a special suggestion bubble."

Based on Erica's test, she concluded that not all iPhone apps learn words, however hard you try to teach the iPhone.

So the tip from her test results are that do NOT use Notes to teach your iPhone swear words as in Erica's words its "brain-dead" but instead use Safari's Google text entry field as I have observed worked every time and also started those words in the suggestion bubble.

The other option is to add the swear words in your iPhone's Contact app and your iPhone will
stop prompting you with weird alternatives. You don't even need to have
the swear word as a contact name, it should work even if the word is in
say the job title of one of your contacts to get through the profanity. But I don't like it as it ends up messing up the Contact list.

I think the simplest solution would be the ability to add words to the dictionary from any iPhone app whenever you tap on a misspelled word or the next best solution would be if Apple or some iPhone developer develops a simple app to add words to iPhone's dictionary. I am assuming such an app if developed by an iPhone app developer will get rejected and will need to be developed for the jailbroken iPhone.

What do you think? Let us know if the iPhone trick works in the comments.

[via Ars Technica]



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