in iOS, iOS Tips, Opinion

iPhone Spotlight: The Forgotten Feature

When I talk to people with iPhones, hardly no-one ever mentions Spotlight. Even when I ask them directly, they don’t even know what it is. It’s a shame, because Spotlight is a great feature, but many people choose to ignore it.
What is Spotlight?

Spotlight is a search feature for your iOS devices. It’s always found as the screen to the left of your main iPhone screen (swipe all the way to the right). It searches the following: 

  • Contacts—All content
  • Apps—Titles
  • Music—Names of songs, artists, and albums, and the titles of podcasts and videos
  • Podcasts—Titles
  • Videos—Titles
  • Audiobooks—Titles
  • Notes—Text of notes
  • Calendar (Events)—Event titles, invitees, locations, and notes
  • Mail—To, From, and Subject fields of all accounts (the text of messages isn’t searched)
  • Reminders—Titles
  • Messages—Names and text of messages

In addition to all these searches, Spotlight is also capable of doing a Search on the web or on Wikipedia.

Why people choose to not use Spotlight is beyond me. Maybe they are not aware of its power. Or maybe, they just choose to ignore it. Whatever the reason is, it’s a real shame. I always use it to launch apps, look up contacts and even my music (it’s hard to find Gloria Stefan and the Miami Sound Machine manually).

Spotlight is a great feature on my iPhone and I use it all the time. That is, until Alfred launches an app that is allowed to do the same. I know it’s unlikely, but oh, to dream!

Do you use Spotlight? Why or why not?

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