iOS 11 makes Spotlight search super-powerful

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spotlight search in iOS 11
Spotlight in iOS 11 is a power-users dream, letting you find anything -- whether on the web on on your device -- fast.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Spotlight search gets a big overhaul in iOS 11. The Spotlight updates in initial beta versions of iOS 11 don’t seem quite as spectacular as the iPad’s new Dock, or drag-and-drop, but the small tweaks make the search tool a lot more useful.

Now you can search both your iPad and the web, similar to how you conduct a search in Safari. If you ever used Launchbar, Alfred or Quicksilver on the Mac, the new iOS 11 Spotlight will feel familiar.

How to convert currency from your lock screen

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currency conversion iOS
Spotlight might be the quickest way to convert currency on iOS.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Traveling? You need a currency conversion app then, right? No! If you’re carrying your iPhone, you can do those conversions quickly, using Spotlight, without even unlocking your iPhone. Better still, you can do those currency conversions while offline, which might be essential when you’re roaming in a foreign land.

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

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collage-2017-04-18
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:

Spotlight has nothing on this desktop search app [Deals]

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CoM - HoudahSpot 4- Family License-1
When Search or Spotlight don't cut it, this powerful desktop app digs deeper.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Apple’s built-in Search and Spotlight features can be super-handy when you’re trying to quickly find a file. But sometimes they just don’t cut it, leaving you unable to make sense of your tangle of files and folders to find what you need.

Many who work with digital media, and utilize deep and complex asset libraries, encounter this problem. At times like these, you’ll want an app like HoudahSpot. It’s a powerful search tool that uses an array of high-power tools and techniques to find the files you’re looking for, time and time again. And right now you can get HoudahSpot 4 for just $19 at Cult of Mac Deals.

How to disable location suggestions in macOS Sierra

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Location Based Suggestions
Here's what to do if you don't want localized suggestions.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Much like Google offers personalized searching, macOS Sierra delivers location-based tips as part of its suggestions within Spotlight, Siri, Safari and Maps. That means Apple will try to recommend relevant services within your immediate vicinity.

If you don’t want this feature, however, there is a way to get rid of it. Check out our guide below to show how to do this — and how to turn it back on again if you change your mind.

This emoji iOS trick will change the way you search

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Yes, you can use emoji on iPhone search.
Yes, you can use emoji on iPhone search.
Photo: Buster Hein/Cult of Mac

Emoji have rapidly changed the way we conversate in the digital age and now thanks to a new feature in iOS, they’re about to change the way we search too.

iPhone and iPad users can now use emoji as search terms in the iOS spotlight feature that’s accessible on any home screen by swiping down.

The feature is actually super-useful, though it doesn’t work with all emoji. Looking for a place to have a beer with a buddy? All you have to do is tap the beer emoji icon and Spotlight will bring up suggestions for drinking holes that you can open in Apple Maps.

Here are some of the emoji you can use for search:

Skip the calculator and use iOS Spotlight for all your math needs

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Put a spotlight on your math facts.
Put a spotlight on your math facts.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

If you’ve got a quick bit of math to figure out on the go, why bother tapping into the Calculator app, which you’ve probably got stuffed in some sort of folder on your third page or so?

Even though we’ve been using Spotlight on the Mac for years now to figure out quick mathematical facts, it’s also included in the iOS version of Spotlight, making doing quick bits of math super easy.

Here’s how to use it.

Apple is getting into search? Pleeease

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Could Apple really dump Google search? Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac
Search? Don't make us laugh. Photo: Cult of Mac

Apple needs to go a long way before it thinks about launching its own search engine. Smartphones? Sure. Tablets? Absolutely. Search? Fuggetaboutit!

As much as we all love Apple, nobody can deny that its search products are oddly bargain basement in quality. iTunes discovery is horrible, the App Store is abysmal and Siri’s painful.

Could Apple fix it? Sure it could, but it’s going to take a lot more than one poor new employee to do it. Here are the worst offenders when it comes to all things Apple Search:

Apple releases OS X Yosemite 10.10.2 with Wi-Fi and Spotlight fixes

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A new OS X Yosemite beta is here
Photo: Apple
Photo: Apple

Along with this morning’s iOS 8.1.3 update, Apple also has some new goodies for Mac users with the release of OS X Yosemite 10.10.2.

The update fixes a problem that caused Wi-Fi to disconnect. The latest version also includes a number of bug fixes for Spotlight, Bluetooth headphones, iCloud Drive and VoiceOver, while also improving stability and security in Safari.

The update is available now in the Mac App Store. Here’s a full list of the changes: