If you haven’t used Spotlight Search on your iPhone, we have ten reasons for you to start. Apple has made significant improvements to the search interface available on the Home screen and Lock screen, and it’s more useful than ever.
New features and updates to Spotlight Search appear on iOS 16 and later and include useful tools such as advanced image search, live activities, and quick actions. New settings are even available to show or hide certain elements of Spotlight’s interface. Many of these upgrades are also available on iPadOS 16.1 and macOS 13 Ventura and later.
1. There is a new search button on the home screen
Apple added a new search button on the home screen to access Spotlight Search, which is probably one of the first things you noticed after the iOS 16 update.
Having a search button on the home screen might seem unnecessary when it’s just as quick to swipe down on the home screen to open Spotlight search as you always could. However, many iPhone users didn’t take advantage of Spotlight or didn’t even know it was there, and a button brings it to the fore.
The Search button replaces page dots for navigating your home screen, but the dots will appear for a second each time you swipe between pages. Plus, you can always scroll the Search button to get to pages faster, so you just get extra features from that area. However, if you prefer the page points as they were before, you can easily remove the Search button.
2. The search bar moved just above the keyboard
When you open Spotlight from the Home or Lock screen, you’ll now find the search bar just above your keyboard instead of at the top of the screen. This makes it easier to edit your search when using one hand, so you don’t have to stretch your fingers too far to reach the top of the screen or slide your iPhone into your palm.
3. Search photos in more apps
On iOS 15, you can already use Spotlight on your Home or Lock screen to search the Photos app for images by location, people, scenes, and even things in photos like text, dogs, cats, books, etc Apple is building on iOS 16 to include results from other apps, such as Messages, Notes, and Files.
You must have an iPhone model with an A12 Bionic chip and later to search for text in photos, which is exactly the requirement like on iOS 15, and it only works with local files. Apple added three more languages that work with Live Text on iOS 16, so you can search for images with Japanese, Korean, and Ukrainian text.
- Japanese (newly supported on iOS 16)
- Korean (newly supported on iOS 16)
- Ukrainian (newly supported on iOS 16)
4. Get more detailed sports information
Previously, you could search artists, artists, musicians, actors, TV shows and movies in Spotlight and get detailed information about them. This still applies, but iOS 16 now also supports richer details about sports leagues and teams.
While selecting a league or sports team on iOS 15 would give you a list of recent games and a Siri Knowledge result with some details and links, iOS 16 gives you a complete one-page view that provides the scores, rankings, schedules, rosters, news, highlights, social media, web images, links, etc.
5. Show Recent Searches Before Searching
When you search Spotlight on iOS 16, it will remember your last searches, listing them under Siri Suggestions. That way, you can jump straight to one of them if you weren’t done watching the last time you used Spotlight. If you don’t like seeing your recent search history, you can turn it off via Settings -> Siri & Search -> Show Recent Searches.
6. Hide Siri Suggestions Before Searching
If you’ve never been a fan of the apps and actions suggested by Siri at the top of Spotlight search before you start typing anything, you can now hide suggestions via Settings -> Siri & Search -> Show Suggestions .
7. More Advanced Siri Suggestions
Speaking of Siri Suggestions in Spotlight, one argument for not hiding them is that they’re even smarter now, so you’ll likely find them more useful. This power of intelligence is due to its new capacity to take account of the context. So you can open Spotlight and immediately see your next meeting, get directions to an upcoming appointment, check the status of an upcoming flight, remind yourself to call someone on their birthday, open a app you usually use at that time of day, and more.
8. Perform Actions Quickly
One of the best new enhancements to Spotlight Search on iOS 16 is that you can take quick action from the search interface. For example, you can activate a Focus mode, create a new alarm, start a timer, Shazam a song, run an app shortcut, record a voice memo, and more. Entering keywords like “timer”, “focus” or “shortcut” will give you all the options you need.
9. App Clips have been improved
On iOS 15, you can see an App Clip — a small part of an app that lets you perform tasks for the time being without installing the entire app — in Spotlight Search. For example, if you’re at a gas station, you might get an App Clip suggestion in Spotlight to pay for your gas with Apple Pay. Or, Spotlight might suggest you use the Restaurant App Clip to pay for your restaurant meal.
You’ll still see them, but you’ll get even more accurate results on iOS 16 with Precise Location Suggestions, which means you should actually see nearby App Clip suggestions in Spotlight instead of hoping for them. are displayed.
10. Start Live Activities
Live Activities are new real-time widgets you can see on your lock screen or in the Live Island on iPhone 14 Pro models when you want to track a delivery order, check a game’s score, or see the current location of your Uber ride. .
Although they did not arrive on iOS 16.0 release, they became available on iOS 16.1. One of the features of Live Activities is that you can start them from a Spotlight search, as shown below. However, it is not live yet, but it will be released very soon with iOS 16.2.
Apple will allow you to start following Spotlight sports matches for the National Basketball Association and the English Premier League (US and Canada only), as well as Major League Baseball (US, Canada, Australia, UK , Brazil, Mexico, Japan and South Korea).
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