1397 Points
Category: Rant

Keyboards, UX, and Fuck


For those who didn't read the title, the following post contains profanity:

When Apple's iPhone came out in 2007, the auto-correct keyboard was a new typing experience for most people.  The software was ahead of its time in many ways, but also primitive in others.  It was understandable, then, that the keyboard would never suggest profanity.  Type "fuck", and the keyboard would suggest "duck".  It was always the safe bet to suggest something more appropriate, rather than accidentally insert something offensive into a user's text message.   Early iPhone users joked about the auto-correct mishaps, but it wasn't really a big issue.

In 2013, many people own their third, fourth, or even fifth post-iPhone smartphone.  Every half-decent touchscreen smartphone since 2007 has a touchscreen with an auto-correcting or predictive keyboard; the exception has become the rule.  But even today, I can't type "fuck", "shit", "asshole" or any adult language without the phone acting like I'm making up words.  My phone thinks I couldn't possibly want to say those things, how crass!  I'm not a clumsy smartphone newbie, I'm an adult and sometimes I want to say fuck.  It's about time that I had the option to turn on a full dictionary, even if it's just an opt-in setting for savvy users.  Even SwiftKey, the keyboard that claims to learn from the way I write, seems to magically look the other way every time I utter profanity.  The UX of Android and OS X has been optimized to the tiniest detail, but somehow this has been constantly overlooked.  So if you're out there reading this and you have any hand in making a mobile keyboard: let me curse already.  It's about fucking time.

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