When only an apostrophe will do – unable to verify account information?

In Ireland the use of an apostrophe in a surname like O’Shea goes back quite a long time. It signifies being a descendant of a certain family and is pretty common. You would think that modern systems could deal with a character which has been around that long but this incident shows its not the case.

In this example lets use our fictitious user Kitty O’Shea. Kitty has an current Iphone and she’s needs her email on it. Kitty’s email address is Kitty.O’Shea@somecorp.com and you are tasked with putting her account on the device. You enter the details – email address, server, password and domain – as you have done for all the other Somecorp users. At the end of a verification process – the iphone tells you “Unable to verify account information”.

You recheck the details – perhaps several times before retrying the account setup but to no avail. What is going on? You get a colleague to try with exactly the same result. So what is the problem?

Well in this case its Apple. Specifically the program that you are using to add the account. Right from the get go its scheming to stop you adding Kitty’s email account. How?

Look closely at the image – I used a large one so you can see the actual difference

The email line looks correct but it is in fact not the symbol you want. If you look at the description line in the image – the symbol goes up and to the right whereas the correct symbol is the one after the “IS NOT”  and goes straight up.

So how do you correct this ? In this case use the description field to generate the correct symbol this way.

When selecting the “wrong” character press and hold the character until the extended character options appear like this.

Notice the other “wrong” characters to the left of the one you want which is highlighted. Notice that the position of the wrong character depends on your selected on screen keyboard.

So in this case once the correct apostrophe symbol was in the email address – the configuration was able to complete and Kitty O’Shea was able to send emails from her iphone – apostrophe and all.