Jason Snell linked to a Slate post by Dan Kois about “Why.are.there.periods.in.my.iPhone.searches”
I’m not sure what changed, but this never used to be a problem for me. Nowadays, though, whenever I’m typing quickly in the Safari search bar on my iPhone, I end up with these periods instead of spaces. The searches usually work, so it’s not that terrible, but it’s still annoying. Perhaps iOS 17 will fix it.
It’s been this way for me for a while now (many iOS versions.) It’s the period key next to the space bar that causes it for me. (I also use duck duck go as my default search engine so it’s not the search engine, it’s how you type.)
I’ve had to start slowing down and paying attention whenever I type a search term in the address bar.
(If Apple is going to put a period there, they should also put a “/“. Even better, for Face ID phones, put those keys below the space bar, or next to the emoji and microphone icons.)
For me it depends on the day. Some days my thumb moves far enough to the left to hit the space bar, some days it’s always hitting the .. But since DuckDuckGo interprets the . as a space in the search, I don’t worry about it (though the poor aesthetics do irritate me!).
I’ve been seeing this for weeks (months?) now, even when using Siri dictation to enter text.
My sense is that Siri’s voice processing has become significantly less accurate in my experience over the past few months. On the bright side, sometimes Siri will change its interpretation of what I said and “correct” itself if I wait several moments before having it execute/send whatever I said, though sometimes it will take the correct text and change it to something else.
In my admittedly limited experience with Android, voice processing is the one area where Android remains substantially more advanced than iOS.
It talks about how internet searches in iOS Safari often have “.” between words rather than spaces. Eg. why.are.there.periods.in.my.searches. And proceeds to show that when you are typing in a URL field in iOS Safari, the keyboard makes a space bar, then to the right a “.” key, and then the return key. And so you accidentally touch the “.” key as your muscle memory reaches for spacebar.
I would suggest that this has been a MAJOR problem for me typing in Messages for iOS, because the return key is too wide, and I constantly hit return when I want to hit spacebar.
In reviewing my iPhone use over the years, I think I never two-thumb typed so well on a virtual iOS keyboard as I did on my iPhone 4s. Possibly my 3gs as well. I could hammer out texts with correct grammar and punctuation at perfectly acceptable rates, even while bouncing along as a passenger in a car on bumpy roads. But with all my other phones such as 6s+, Xs, or current 12? Yeah, not so much. I HATE having to backspace well after the fact to correct a return and subsequently auto-capitalized break in the middle of a sentence.
I’m sure this is a result of changing screen sizes, but I remember back in the day, I guess iOS’s ability to predict what key you wanted to type, and reject adjacent keys you didn’t actually aim for, was better than it is now.
Don’t forget a double tap on the space bar enters a space followed by a period. A tentative tap where your finger actually makes contact twice can easily trigger this. It can be turned off in Settings>General>Keyboard.