iOS 7 Basics – How To Use Spotlight To Search Your iPhone [iOS Tips]

spotlight

You can hit Command-F to find anything on your Mac, or you can hit Command-Space to invoke Spotlight, which took over for Sherlock as the built-in searching system many moons ago. In Windows 8, you can use the Search “charm.”

On the iPhone and iPad, however, some might be a little confused. There’s no keyboard commands in iOS, and Apple has even moved the Search functionality in iOS 7 from the furthermost left icon page.

What’s an iPhone owner to do when she wants to search for that specific app that she’s buried in a folder somewhere on her device, or needs the phone number of her best friend, because she’s always just used Siri to call her and has no idea what her number actually is?

While this tip may seem a bit basic, I still see the question in various iPhone user forums and such: How do I find Search on my iPhone or iPad?

In iOS 7, Apple moved the Spotlight function, but not to confuse anyone. The reason they moved it is ostensibly to offer Spotlight searching from any of the Home pages. Perviously, you’d have to swipe all the way to the left to find Spotlight, on it’s own separate page.

Now, all you need to do is to swipe downward from any page on your iOS device (but not when you’re in a folder), and the Spotlight search field will drop down from the top.

Apple even brings up the keyboard and sets the cursor into the search field, making it a cinch to start typing the first few letters of whatever you’re searching for. If you want to filter your results to only Applications and Contacts, for example, you can also customize what Spotlight looks for, and in what order.

  • GHoubart

    There is an added twist to this (a very frustrating one): you have to tap in the MIDDLE of the screen first before you swipe down. Otherwise you get your daily updates.

About the author

Rob LeFebvreAnchorage, Alaska-based freelance writer and editor Rob LeFebvre is Cult of Mac's Culture Editor. He has contributed to various tech, gaming and iOS sites, including 148Apps, VentureBeat, and Paste Magazine. Feel free to find Rob on Twitter @roblef

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