iPadOS Files’ search is now almost as good as the Mac’s

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Files app iPadOS
Files can be stored in drawers.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

The Files app is waaaaay better in iOS 13 and iPadOS. It adds external USB storage support, so you can plug in anything from a hard drive or USB-C stick to a synthesizer that can mount as a USB drive to load samples and presets.

Apple’s built-in file-management app adds column view (with a handy preview) and all the metadata you want to know about a given file. And it also benefits from a massively upgraded search feature.

A radical Safari tabs trick that’s hard to explain in the title

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A desert, not unlike the Mojave, where you could go on safari.
I’m getting desperate for Safari-related images for these how-to posts.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

This tip is exhibit A in the case for Apple being really, really good at hiding features. I imagine if you went around to Apple’s house for dinner, and the company asked you to set the table, you’d have some real trouble finding the cutlery. Maybe you’d open the cutlery drawer and see only the spoons. Then you’d open the drawer below, expecting that Apple had just set things out differently, as usual.

But in that second drawer you’d find nothing but fruit. WTF Apple? And then you’d notice that the top drawer is a little thicker than it appears when open. You try the top drawer again. This time you see that if you press down on one of the wooden spoons, the others move aside — animated a little too slowly — to reveal the knives and spoons. But where the hell are the forks?

Back to today’s tip. It’s a combination of two tricks you may already know:

  • Search the open Safari tabs on your iPhone.
  • Long-press the tabs button to close all tabs.

What do you think today’s tip might be?

How to search your Google search history

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Google is watching, all the time. Turn it to your advantage.
Google is watching, all the time. Turn it to your advantage.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

How many time have you tried to remember that site where you read that thing last week? A million, probably. And how many times have you found it? Less than a million, for sure. But did you know that you can use Google to search only sites that you have visited?

You can, and it’s awesome.

How to search Google like a boss

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Google search operators
Search like a pro with Google search operators.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

For many folks, Google is the front page of the internet. You don’t type Facebook.com into your browser. You just type “Facebook,” and then click the first Google result. Or you do a basic search by tapping in what you’re looking for.

But Google is way more powerful than that. You just have to learn a few of its secret code words, and then you can slice and dice your searches like a pro. No more wading through pages of results to find what you want. Use these tricks, and you’ll almost always get what you want on the first page. You can even ask Google to show you the weather.

How to search for songs by lyrics in Apple Music

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Just look at that rick(shaw) roll!
Just look at that rick(shaw) roll!
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Do you have a snippet of a song in your head, and it’s driving you crazy? Did you forget to Shazam it when you heard it playing in that hipster boutique vegan-boots-and-artisanal-ramen store? Then you need Apple Music’s search by lyrics feature, which lets you find a song based on a few vaguely remembered snatches of verse.

How to use Photos’ amazing new search in iOS 12

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iOS 12 Photos thinks that cabbages are melons.
iOS 12 Photos thinks that cabbages are melons.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Photos already has a pretty decent search function on iOS 11. Thanks to Apple’s machine-learning tech, and AI categorization, you can search for thousands of “scenes.” These include the places you took the photo, but also anything from abacus to zucchini, people in the images, and times the images were taken.

This has gotten even better in iOS 12. You can still search on many thousands of categories and keywords, but now you can combine searches. For instance, you could search for several different people, and see photos only containing them all. OR you can combine search terms like Christmas, Food, and 2015, for instance. Let’s take a look.

Siri is the best way to search photos on your iPhone

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search photos with siri
Hey Siri, show me photos of melons.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Siri is useless for a lot of things, but when it works, it can be a real timesaver. For instance, you can use Siri to search for photos in your iPhone or iPad photo library. Say something like, “Hey Siri, show me photos of clowns,” and it’ll do just that, opening the Photos app, switching to the search tab, and entering the search term “clowns” for you.

Even if you’re sitting looking at the search tab in the Photos app already, Siri is still way easier to use for search than manually tapping something into the search field, deleting the previous search, and typing a new one.

And that’s just the beginning.

Google’s new Cameos app gives celebs a bigger voice on the internet

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Google Cameos
Google's Cameos app focuses on celebrities.
Photo: Google

Google is giving celebrities a new way to answer some of the most popular questions asked by fans thanks to a new app called Cameos.

The search giant launched Cameos on the iOS app store this morning. Created for public figures, celebrities and sports teams, Cameos is an extension of the Posts on Google platform that allows some people and organizations to post directly to Google’s search result pages.

Apple Store app now lets you shop with your voice

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Apple Store app search suggestions
Search suggestions help you find what you’re looking for.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Apple just rolled out its latest update to the official Apple Store app, introducing an improved search interface.

The version 5.1 release now displays search suggestions like the App Store and iTunes apps, and thanks to speech recognition, you can find products using your voice for the first time.