Predictive text or T9 will arrive in the iOS 18 Phone app

T9 predictive text in iOS 18

iOS 18 will suffer big changes At the design level, especially due to the drift that Apple has taken to allow the user to customize the iPhone as much as possible. In addition, other applications such as Messages, Mail or Calendar also undergo significant changes at the interface level and at the functional level. Another application that has also acquired new functions is the app Phone and one of the new features, although for many imperceptible in the keynote, has been the support T9 predictive text technology, available especially on Android, which allows quickly dial a phone number converting the initials of the contact's initials into dialed numbers within the app itself. We tell you in detail below.

T9 predictive text comes to iOS 18 for speed dialing in the Phone app

First of all let's give a little context. T9 predictive text, short for “Text on 9 keys,” is a text writing technology developed for mobile devices with numeric keypads, widely used in the 90s or 2000s. In fact, if you remember, it was one of the attractions when SMS were sent on a daily basis by selecting letters by clicking on the numbers depending on the letter we were looking for. This system allows users write words by pressing each key only once for each letter, instead of having to repeatedly press the same key to select the desired letter (for example, to type the letter "C", you would press the "2" key three times on a traditional numeric keypad).

iOS 18
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These new iOS 18 features are not available in developer beta 1

This technology It has been incorporated by Apple in iOS 18 in the Phone application. Thanks to this technology, the user will be able to quickly call a contact without having to search for it within the Contacts app. Let's take an example, like the one you have in the screenshot taken from the inaugural keynote of WWDC24: the contact is called "Johnny" and to quickly search for him, enter the number 56466, which corresponds to the initials of the name. The 5 corresponds to the O, the 6 to the H and the last two 6 to the two N's.

iOS 18 takes care of integrate a prediction algorithm through a built-in dictionary with the contacts included in our device to guess the name we want to try to call. This small function, although not of great relevance, will be useful for those users who are fond of the T9 or who come from Android whose use is more established.


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