A weird bug has popped up for many iPhone users since Apple released its iOS 11.1 update: if they type a lowercase “i,” Autocorrect will replace that “i” with either a strange question-mark symbol or an A with horizontal lines next to it.
Katie Couric experienced trouble:
As did Quartz reporter Mike Murphy:
It’s tough to figure out the rhyme or reason for why certain devices are being hit by this bug and others aren’t. One user in Apple’s support forums posted this hypothesis:
I can’t promise this is the issue, but it appears that the new emojis that apple has in iOS 11.1 contains a letter “I” as an emoji. I’m wondering (and convinced myself of this) if apple made an auto-correct for the letter “I” to be replaced with the emoji form of the letter “I” and anyone who doesn’t have iOS 11.1 is seeing the “A [?]” in place of the new emoji which is from failing to decode the textual representation of the emoji.
Our own limited testing doesn’t really support this: Some phones that have updated iOS 11.1 are still affected by the bug, and other phones that are still on iOS 11.0.3 aren’t. In the meantime, here’s Apple’s official advice on how to fix the problem for now. For those who don’t wanna click through, the basic gist is:
How to fix the lowercase ‘i’ bug in iOS 11
1. Go to Settings, then General, then Keyboard, then Text Replacement.
2. Hit the + button to add a new text replacement shortcut.
3. Enter an uppercase “I” for the phrase.
4. Enter a lowercase “i” for the shortcut.
This is obviously a hacky workaround for a deeper (and weirder) problem. We’ve been in contact with Apple about the issue, and will update if they issue an official comment beyond the support advice. For now, we can confirm the text-replacement solution does fix the problem — even if we’re still not sure what’s really causing the problem in the first place.