Autocorrect on Samsung Galaxy is BAD
By: Peter Egan
This is a follow-up to a product review of the Samsung Galaxy S7 I wrote a few months back. This article echos many of the same sentiments but delves into deeper detail. After a few more months of frustration, I felt the need to expound upon my grievances with the Galaxy S7 and why I’m rethinking the purchase despite many of the phone’s features being adequate-to-good.
I’ve had a Samsung Galaxy S7 for about the past six months. Before that, I had a Motorola Android Maxx that I’d had since late 2014, and the amount of abuse it took in the 2+ years I had it finally caught up with it, and I was forced to get a new phone.
The factor that separated the Galaxy from the other smartphones available at the Verizon store was the fact that it still had a traditional audio port.
I already have lots of audio equipment, including everything from speakers to headphones/earbuds to a little device that I plug into the audio port while I’m in the car (or near any FM radio) and it broadcasts whatever audio is on my phone through my car speakers, boat speakers or any other speakers hooked up to an FM radio. It does this by broadcasting to one of five possible relatively obscure frequencies that generally aren’t used in commercial radio and are rare in the few instances where commercial broadcasting exists along these frequencies. If my memory serves me correctly, the gadget that plugs into my phone is capable of
broadcasting at 87.9, 88.1, 88.3, 88.5 and 88.7 megahertz (MHz). Megahertz are the unit of measurement for FM broadcast frequencies. The number on the radio dial stands for the number of megahertz at which that frequency is broadcasting. FM stands for frequency module, and the number on the radio dial or screen is the frequency.
Anyway, it is a cool little gadget that lets me listen to whatever I want from my phone using my car speakers, which are much louder and of higher quality. I use it nearly every day.
I didn’t want a phone that would have required me to buy all new bluetooth-equipped audio equipment because the phone wasn’t compatible with my existing audio gear. That, ultimately, is why I chose the Galaxy S7 by Samsung.
For the purposes of serving my audio needs, the phone has been wonderful. My only complaint is that the speakers built into the phone itself are so weak a almost always have to plug the phone into an external audio device to hear all the sports talk shows I love so much (looking at you Matt Moscona).
The phone also has a much better camera than my previous phone. Photo and video quality are the two areas I feel like I got a significant upgrade when I switched to the Galaxy from the 2013 or 2014 Android Maxx.
HOWEVER, the older model Motorola phone I had for more than two years prior had one feature that was significantly better than that of the Galaxy. I’m talking about Autocorrect.
The Motorla phone had an extensive vocabulary, knew how to spell, would automatically fix typographical errors and in the rare instances in which I wanted to say something it didn’t already know, it took note and learned. It learned my writing patterns so well that it would often finish my sentences – literally – sometimes after just a few words. It knew what I wanted to say, it was super-intuitive and had the capacity to learn even more than its already extensive out-of-the-box knowledge. It was a smart phone in every sense of the term.
The Galaxy S7, in contrast, gives me the impression it’s autocorrect and word suggest features were programmed by someone with a first-grade reading level, no grammar skills, a VERY limited vocabulary and zero command of the English language.
It regularly fails to recognize even the most common of words, like “even” for example. It suggests even be “eben” and even takes the liberty of changing my correctly spelled, extremely simple and common word and replacing it with something that isn’t even a word. Google says it’s a name of Hebrew origin, but I strongly doubt the programmers who weren’t familiar with the word “even” knew that.
That’s just one example. The Galaxy S7 is unfamiliar with literally hundreds of words I use regularly. More often than not, it changes them to words it does know, forcing me to go back, delete it’s autocorrected suggestion, retype my word and click the check mark to tell the phone that what I typed is in fact what I intended to say. This would be less bothersome if the phone remembered these occurrences and learned the words I teach it by overriding its autocorrect, but it doesn’t . I have to repeat the same process over and over with the same words. Every now and again it seems the phone will pick up on something and typing on it becomes a little less tedious, but those instances are the exception rather than the rule.
What’s more, the phone has no idea how to handle possessives involving apostrophes. Oddly enough, it does understand contractions for the most part, although it never knows whether the word “it” followed by an S should have an apostrophe or not. It defaults to the apostrophe’d contraction of “it” and “is”. It will automatically change any usage of “its” not involving an apostrophe to the contraction with the apostrophe. It’s like whoever programmed the autocorrect is completely oblivious to the fact that “it” in the possessive is spelled “its” with no apostrophe.
I have spent countless hours undoing the damage inflicted upon my writing by Galaxy’s imbecilic autocorrect, which is probably more accurately described as “auto-incorrect”.
The phone just underwent a full-scale operating system update, and I was disappointed but not surspriaed that this issue (autocorrect) was not addressed in the update.
My advice to anyone seeing all the cool commercials involving people having these mind-blowing experiences in virtual reality with a Samsung Galaxy hooked up to a little headset such that it resembled the virtual reality headsets worn in the 1990’s Aerosmith video “Amazing,” is to refrain from buying into the hype. Think practical.
How often do you really expect to be able to play with the headset before it becomes repetitive and boring?
If you’re an Android person, for the love of God go with something made by Motorola. There was a time when I would have included LG here, but the last LG phone I had was complete and utter garbage, and it destroyed my opinion of them as a company. They may be back to making good phones, I don’t know and can’t speak one way or the other. The last one I had was so bad it would take a lot to convince me to ever but another one.
I’ve had iPhones in the past and they’ve all served me well. The autocorrect wasn’t quite as good as my Motorola’s was, but it was decent enough and even back in 2013 my iPhone at the time would have been an improvement over the Galaxy in just about every way except the camera, and from what I’ve read Apple has made some pretty big strides of their own in this area.
Ultimately the amount of time lost fixing typing errors committed by the phone (the Galaxy) hasn’t been worth the positives associated with the phone. If I had to do it again, I’d buy an older Motorola phone online – one with an audio port – instead of driving to the Verizon store and choosing a phone from their limited selection consisting of only the most recent models.
I hate the idea or bluetooth-only external audio, and will continue using a phone with an external audio port until I can no longer find one in person or online.
Just be wary of the unfortunate autocorrect on the Samsung Galaxy, and if that’s a problem for you then you’ll have to weigh that against your desire to have a phone with the features that Galaxy has that are as good or better than those of competing models.