Pro Tip: Use iOS Spotlight as a keyboard app launcher


spotlight keyboard ap launcher
A spotlight helps find things.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Pro Tip Cult of Mac bugDid you know that you can use Spotlight on iOS as an app launcher? It works just like Launchbar or Alfred on the Mac. You just hit a keyboard shortcut and start typing, then hit enter to launch the app. If you have a wireless (or wired) keyboard attached to your iPad, you’re going to love this tip.

This great iOS Spotlight trick lets you know everything about a person


spotlight contact search
Several spotlights.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Somewhere after the launch of iOS 11, Apple tweaked Spotlight search to be way more useful. Now, when you search for a person, you can trigger a sub-search that lets you find everything you have on them, from emails, to iMessages, to their contact details, through WhatsApp messages, to calendar events. Anywhere that your selected contact exists on your iPhone or iPad will show up in the list.

And then, you can narrow the results with a sub search.

These are all the things Spotlight can find on your iPhone and iPad


A picture of a light, to illustrate Spotlight search.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Spotlight is Apple’s search technology for Mac and iOS, and it can help you find almost anything. Not just stuff on your iPhone, either. Spotlight can also help you find nearby places, look up words in a dictionary, and even do currency and unit conversions, all from one search box. Let’s take a look at everything Spotlight can do on your iPhone or iPad.

How to search in a page or website in Mobile Safari


safari search
Mobile Safari's search is good, but hard to use.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Ever since iOS 9, iOS has had a dedicated share extension to search the current web page in Safari. You just hit the sharing arrow, then choose Find in Page on the bottom row of options, and then you can type in your query. It works, and it works well, but it’s a very clunky method for doing something that requires a single keystroke (Command-F) on the Mac.

Today we’ll look at some alternatives for finding text in a web page on iOS, along with a bonus tip for site-wide searches.

You can now search eBay using images


gretsch guitar ebay
Find that sweet vintage guitar on eBay just by snapping a photo.
Photo: Freebird/Flickr CC

It just got a whole lot easier to find odd items on eBay. Now, instead of typing in your search criteria, you can just snap a photo of an object, and eBay will search across the site and return any results that look like your photo.

This is great for those times that you have no idea how to describe something, but you totally have to buy it. Or when you see something in an image and don’t know how search for it on Amazon. Or when you see a super-cool vintage blouse/jacket/bag and want to find something similar.

Apple ditches Bing for Google on Siri and Spotlight


Siri is switching to Google.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple just gave Microsoft’s search engine Bing a huge blow today by replacing it with Google on iOS and macOS.

The company previously used Bing search results as the default when users made a search query via Siri on iPhones or from Spotlight on Macs. Bing will still be around in some capacity, but it appears that the company has given in and turned back to using Google.

iOS 11 Notes app finally lets you search notes when you save


search notes iOS 11
iOS 11 lets you narrow down your target notes by search whenever you save a new snippet.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Apple’s Notes app got a few headline updates in the iOS 11 section of the 2017 WWDC Keynote — in-line sketches and handwriting recognition for example — but there’s another tiny tweak that might be an even bigger deal than those two. Now, when you use the Share arrow to send a URL, snippet of text, or anything else, to the Notes app, you can search your existing notes, and choose which one you want to add it to.

This is huge, and takes Notes from being a higgledy-piggledy junk drawer to being a real replacement for things like Evernote and Microsoft’s One Note. Now you can keep a note for, say, planning an upcoming vacation, and easily add new places and plans to it as you find them, or quickly add links to a book reading list.

Google will pay $3 billion to remain top search provider on iOS


Google logo
Amount will bolster Apple's services business.
Photo: Google

Google could pay Apple as much as $3 billion this year in order to remain the default search engine on iOS devices, a new report claims.

The claim comes from Bernstein analyst A.M. Sacconaghi Jr. If true, it would represent a sizable increase from the $1 billion that Apple was paid by Google for the same reason back in 2014.