As public beta testers will be in the process of discovering, the addition of deep neural network technology to iOS 10 means the QuickType keyboard has become much, much smarter.
What is QuickType
QuickType is a predictive keyboard that’s designed to improve the more you use it. It has been deeply improved in iOS 10 with built in intelligence that means it is now capable of identifying useful, relevant information like location, contact info, calendar schedules or recent addresses.
You see, QuickType has always been smart enough to suggest a word or two, but the use of deep neural network technology lets iOS 10 make even more relevant suggestions based on analysis of the entire sentence.
This means it watches for changes in context, gender and verb tense, which makes for more accurate suggestions. That extra efficiency may win over some QuickType refuseniks.
[Surface all my iOS 10 and macOS Sierra coverage here.]
Speaking in tongues
I have no idea why I can’t yet ask Siri to translate languages for me, given it is already capable of working in multiple languages. (I’m also pretty certain this kind of feature will appear eventually).
However, when I need to write an email in Portugese I do like it that QuickType can now automatically recognize the language I’m using and make useful predictions in response. It works with any two of English, French, German, Italian, Portugese and Spanish and also (in combination) English and Chinese. Eu amo o restaurante o Eurico em Lisboa, sim?
Here are six other ways this smarter, contextualized AI can help you get things done across iOS:
- When you receive a message from someone they may ask you for an email for a third party, “Do you have Jeremy’s email?” All you need to do is type “Jeremy’s email address is,” and it will appear in the QuickType window – no need to switch apps, copy and paste…
- If a friend asks where you should see a ‘Current Location’ box appear in the QuickType window where you can share your location in one tap.
- Apps are also smarter together, so if you’ve looked at a restaurant on Yelp, QuickType will offer you a suggestion consisting of that restaurant address when you open Uber.
- If you maintain a calendar then QuickType can even suggest times you’ve got available to arrange meetins or more.
- I really like intelligent scheduling. You see, when I’m chatting with a buddy in iMessage and we are attempting to organize something, it is really helpful that iOS will identify times and places and can automatically create a Calendar event based on that discussion.
- You’ll find similar examples of applied and useful intelligence in Maps. These include Proactive suggestions to help you get to where you are likely to want to go; personalized locations and the ability to figure out the fastest possible journey’s to your destinations.
Privacy and convenience
All these useful features are provided by a company that is consciously working to ensure your privacy is not the price of this convenience. End-to-end encryption, no maintenance of user profiles, use of on-device intelligence (which means all the work takes place on the handset and not in the cloud) and the application of Differential Privacy all illustrate the company’s effort in this regard.
Apple introduced its iOS 10 public beta yesterday, when it also introduced the macOS Sierra beta. You can sign up for these schemes here. However, as this is beta software you should follow these three simple rules if you choose to install the pre-release software:
- Don’t install the OS on your primary Mac or iOS device
- Do make a backup of your Mac/iOS device before installing the new OS
- Do expect and install “periodic updates” the company will release.
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