Almost every day on Facebook a friend of mine shares one of those collections of “Autocorrect Fails”. You know the ones where autocorrect — supposedly — changes a perfectly innocent word into something entirely inappropriate? There’s a message that says, “Good news! Grandpa is homosexual!” instead of “Good news! Grandpa is home from hospital!” And another that says, “My dad keeps barking at the postman” when it’s meant to be a text about your dog.
While these texts are often hilarious, many of them seem way too good (or too weird) to be true. Often they are. With a couple of easy-to-use websites, you can create your own fake text message conversations. Let’s look at how.
Making Fake iMessages
Although not everyone actually uses an iPhone, most of the people who’s autocorrect goes haywire seem to. It’s not discrimination; it’s just that the iPhone is seen as the default smartphone by most people. Every iPhone user also uses the same text messaging app, while Android users have loads to choose from.
The best fake message generator I found was iOS7text. All the others were either based off the same CodeCanyon project, awkward to use, or completely out of date. It’s been three years since Apple released iOS 7; practically nobody is using iOS 6 anymore.
With iOS7text you can tweak pretty much everything that appears in the fake screenshot. I’m based in Ireland so no one will believe a message from me that appears to have been sent using AT&T — I have to use something like Vodafone.
First, click on Settings and decide who you want the fake message to be from. “Mom” is the traditional choice but you can use anyone you want. I have no desire for advancement so I used the Managing Editor of MakeUseOf, Ryan Dube.
Next, modify any of the other details you want. I’d recommend changing Contact to Details as that’s what iOS 9 uses instead. Changing the time is also a good idea. If someone’s texting you to tell you to come down for dinner, they wouldn’t send it at eight in the morning.
For Battery and Connection, what you enter doesn’t really matter, however, if you’re creating more than one fake conversation it’s worth mixing them up. Your battery isn’t going to be the same every time you chat to one of your friends. For added realism, make the battery match the time you set. If it’s first thing in the morning, it’ll probably be in the 90s. If it’s a drunk text at midnight, you might be lucky to have more than 20 percent.
Now it’s time to get to the fun bit: creating the fake messages. You’ve got five options. You can add Grey, Green or Blue messages, an image, or a Timestamp.
Grey messages are ones sent by you. They’re always aligned to the left. Green and Blue messages are sent by other people. Messages are green if they don’t use iMessage and blue if they do.
When you’re texting, timestamps aren’t shown for every message. They’re only shown if there’s a break in the conversation. The Timestamp option lets you enter one.
To add a message or timestamp, enter what you want it to say in the text box and click Add message. To add an image, tap where it says Click here to upload image and choose one from your computer. Repeat this for as many messages as you need. The screenshot will get longer and longer, as if someone has stitched a few of them together, to accommodate all the messages.
Once you’re done, click Download image to generate the fake screenshot. To unlock the final image you need to like iOS7text’s Facebook page. It’s the one downside to the service but you can always unfollow them. Once you do, you can save it to your computer and then upload it to Facebook.
Other Fake Posts
You’re not limited to just making fake iPhone message posts. There are online generators for other services too.
Snapchat has become insanely popular in the last few years and, although you’re not meant to screenshot snaps, people still do. This leaves the door open for creating fake snaps. If you want to do it, check out Snapsr.
You can create fake Facebook messages, status updates, and Twitter posts with Simitator. You have a lot of control over the fakes you create. For example, for Facebook posts, as well as the initial message, you can also add fake comments. You can even set how many likes they get. It’s similar for Tweets you create with the site.
Making it Believable
If you want to make your fake messages believable, you need to give them some thought.
One of the most obvious giveaways that someone has used a generator is if they leave the time, network, and battery life set to the defaults. If every screenshot you share shows you getting messages at 8:42 AM then they’re obviously not real. Mix up the details of screenshots to keep it believable.
For the most part, autocorrect is incredibly accurate. It’s rare that it makes a massive mistake on just a single word. The best autocorrect fails happen when you don’t leave a space between the words you’re typing. Make sure the words you’re substituting are somewhat plausible. No autocorrect is ever going to swap “MakeUseOf” for “banana”.
Autocorrect is also programmed not to autocorrect to swear words. If you’re creating fake autocorrect messages bear that in mind.
It’s really easy to make fake messages online. While some autocorrect fails are probably real, most of them are fake. It’s one of those sad cases where, no matter how much you want the funny story to be true, it isn’t. The good news is though, now that you know, you can make your own.
Creating fake messages is a lot of fun but be careful. If you make it appear that someone says something incriminating and spread it around social media, you could be taken to court for libel. Making it seem like your boss is a racist is not going to go down well.
Show us your best fake autocorrect fails in the comments. We’d love to see them!