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Notes for iOS 17 has a right-to-left typing problem

Apple Notes

Last updated

Users of the iOS Notes app may encounter issues when typing in some right-to-left languages, with iOS 17 not properly handling cursor movement when typing in the app.

The cursor's movement while text is being typed is pretty well known to computer and mobile device users. Though there are often differences in how the cursor acts for typing left-to-right text or right-to-left versions depending on the language, the actions the cursor takes during that typing is almost universal across platforms and apps.

However, there appears to be a bug in the way that the cursor responds to typing for some languages that rely on reading text from right to left. Raised by an AppleInsider contributor and also spotted on X in a complaint to Apple Support, the cursor is not functioning properly for some right-to-left languages in the Notes app, including Arabic and Hebrew.

In languages that work from the left of the page to the right, the cursor tends to appear towards the right of the passage, or of the most recently typed word. In right-to-left languages, the cursor is supposed to change behavior, so that it can be better placed with text going towards the left of the page.

In AppleInsider's testing using Hebrew, the bug in Notes has the cursor pinned to the right-hand side of the text string instead of the left. While typing straight without edits, sentences and words come out normally, but you're typing blind when it comes to the cursor position.

If you attempt to add a word to the middle of an already typed sentence, the new word will appear on the right-hand side at the start of the sentence. Backspacing is also a problem since the cursor is treated as if it's on the right margin.

For the affected users, the issue effectively means they have to get the sentence right the first time, or suffer problems trying to edit afterward.

It is unclear how many languages are affected by the issue, nor how many users are directly affected, nor if there are specific circumstances that can cause the problem to occur.

For the moment, Apple Support does have at least one English-language report on social media of there being a problem with typing in Notes, so there is an awareness of an issue.