Searching for stuff is a big part of what we do on our computers, right? I know that I use Google daily for searching, both for topical information as well as just plain old “where is that website” search. Both Safari and Chrome search right from the address bar, and Spotlight has been in the upper right corner of Mac OS X for several iterations now.
There’s a faster way to access your preferred search engine and Spotlight, however, using only your keyboard.
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?
The Google Chrome browser for Mac and PC now understands your “Ok Google” voice commands thanks to an official “Voice Search Hotword extension” that’s available to download now from the Chrome Web Store. You can use it to make handsfree web searches, quick conversions, and even to set reminders.
When you searched for apps in the App Store in iOS 6, you got a bunch of cards that you could swipe through to find the specific app you were looking for. To get back to the beginning, you’d need to swipe back as many of the apps as you’d swiped through, and that could take some time.
There’s a new little trick in iOS 7 that makes it a lot easier to pop back to the beginning of the cards.
Phlo is a handy little Universal iOS app which lets you search a bunch of different search engines simultaneously. Just tap in your search term and then hop between various sites using the popover sidebar list.
You know the document you’re looking for, but you can’t remember where it’s saved. Did you upload it to Dropbox or Google Drive, or was it sent to you in an email? Fortunately, a new iPhone app called FindIt lets you quickly search all three — all at once.
I asked Siri something yesterday, and s/he – as usual – misheard me. Whatever I actually asked, Siri thought I said “Election Tacos,” and as that didn’t really fit in with Siri’s abilities, he did a web search. Only instead of popping me into Safari, the results were shown right on the lock screen. And that’s not all.
During today’s WWDC keynote, Apple’s Eddy Cue briefly mentioned Bing integration in iOS 7. While demoing new features in Siri, Cue mentioned that Bing is used to power web searches. Nothing was said about Google, and that shouldn’t come as a surprise.
Apple has been distancing itself from Google for quite some time. For instance, Apple Maps is now on iOS and OS X. Bing integration in Siri, while a more subtle move, is definitely a knife jab at Google. And Microsoft couldn’t be happier.
Google has brought the new voice search features announced at Google I/O last week to its Google Chrome web browser for desktops. The latest version of the app (version 27) puts a little microphone icon alongside the search bar on Google.com which lets you find the things you’re looking for without touching your keyboard.