Apple releases temporary fix for autocorrect error in iOS 11.1

Is your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch autocorrecting the letter 'i' to 'A' with a question mark symbol? Here's how to fix it.

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A number of iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch users who updated to iOS 11.1 are facing a strange bug that autocorrects the letter "i" to an "A" with a question mark symbol. The bug is especially irritating for business users who want to send professional messages from their devices.

The bug replaces the letter "i" with an invisible character called Variation Selector 16, which is a code typically used to merge two characters together into an emoji, according to The Telegraph. However, no emoji appears in this case, only the "A" and question mark.

Many users reported the bug after purchasing an iPhone X for $1,000 when it was released on Friday.

SEE: Job description: iOS developer (Tech Pro Research)

On Saturday, Apple published a support document with steps for working around the bug until the software is updated, via setting up Text Replacement. Here's what they recommend doing:

  • Go to Settings > General > Keyboard > Text Replacement.
  • Tap "."
  • For Phrase, type an uppercase "I". For Shortcut, type a lowercase "i."

If this does not work, users can also try disabling the emoji keyboard, according to Benjamin Mayo at 9to5Mac.

The issue will be fixed in a future software update, Apple wrote in the support post—likely iOS 11.1.1. The update will likely be released this week, Mayo wrote, as the issue appears to be affecting a number of customers.

Apple has patched a number of bugs in the past year, with many related to security, as TechRepublic's Brandon Vigliarolo reported. Last week, researchers participating in the Pwn2Own 2017 contest successfully hacked an iPhone 7 running iOS 11.1, and were able to drop malicious code into the device. And in the last several months, the company had its secure enclave decrypted, had been sending unencrypted Exchange credentials, faced another Wi-Fi attack in iOS 10 with Broadpwn, and was having keychain contents intercepted as plain text.

The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers

1. A number of iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch users who updated to iOS 11.1 are experiencing a bug that autocorrects the letter "i" to an "A" with a question mark symbol.

2. To work around the bug, users can set up Text Replacement.

3. The bug will be fixed in the next iOS update, likely later this week.

Image: iStockphoto/oatawa

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By Alison DeNisco Rayome

Alison DeNisco Rayome is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. She covers CXO, cybersecurity, and the convergence of tech and the workplace.