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

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spotlight
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

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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

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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

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Siri
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

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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

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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.

How to hack Photos’ search to find lost images

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find photos location
It's easy to narrow down a search, even if you can't quite remember where or when you took the photo.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Search is open of Photos’ apps best features, but when do you ever really use it? Never, I’d say, but that’s about to change. Search is only useful when there’s something you’re looking for. While it’s fun to see all the photos you took of cats, or guitars, or whatever, search’s real power comes when you’re looking for something specific. That is, when you’re looking for than one photo you need to show your dining companions right now. Let’s see some tricks on how to do that.

Instantly upgrade your security, privacy and productivity [Week’s Best Deals]

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Protect your online life with a VPN, guard your privacy with a second phone number, and lots more.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Welcome to the new week, same as the last week. Except of course for the great deals in the Cult of Mac Store. This go around, our very best deals include a lifetime of VPN protection, comprehensive training in Microsoft Excel, a powerful alternative to Search and Spotlight, and an anonymous second phone line perfect for first dates or Craigslist deals. Everything is discounted by more than half, read on for more details: