Are you utilising Spotlight Search?

Discussion in 'General iOS' started by Edelheid, Mar 27, 2017.

  1. Edelheid

    Edelheid PhilMUG Addict Member

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    tl;dr below, but the gist of this thread is: do you ever use Spotlight Search on your iPhone?

    I saw this brought up somewhere and it took me somewhat by surprise to realise so many ignore this rudimentary feature. Beginning with iOS 10, you can already access Spotlight Search from just about anywhere. Even while you're inside an app; all you have to do is swipe down from the top of the screen just as you would when bringing down notification centre, but instead of letting go immediately you need to gently swipe down until you get the haptic feedback from the iPhone (i.e., iPhone 6s and later) and then just release your finger. Spotlight Search will now initiate, with the keyboard popped in. This may feel slow at first, but it gets very quick or instantaneous once you get used to it. I feel it's a very intuitive and swift process overall.

    I personally loathe seeing a crowded home screen, so I keep it to a minimum of two pages reserved for apps making it three pages total if we are to include widgets found on the leftmost area of the screen. I keep most apps inside a folder (for example, Ulysses is hardly used nowadays so it gets the folder treatment) and the ones that get to be outside the encasement are simply apps that get utilised enough on a day-to-day basis and therefore warrants the highlight. Some exceptions are made, but not often.

    Naturally, it's a torment for just about anybody to browse for apps that are crammed within folders and that's where Spotlight Search comes in. I use it every single day to search for particular apps as I am a firm believer of keeping an app only if it serves me its intended purpose; this way there won't be many 'useless' apps, bar games kept for specific purposes, and so, it goes without saying that the name of these apps should at least come naturally to me. If I do end up forgetting any app they're considered null and will be subject to removal from my iPhone come next cleaning.

    My other uses for Spotlight Search aside from quick launching apps: currency conversion, DDG and App Store searches, calling or messaging someone if the contact isn't already in my favourites widget, and basic calculations, or just get PCalc and use the built-in calculator widget. It all comes down to personal preferences. I prefer to keep Calcbot; I just wish they weren't insistent on keeping it widget-free.

    Here's a screenshot of my home screen for reference:

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. thewittleprince

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    yes but I find that I use Siri more frequently vs Spotlight search.
     
  3. Qin Zhi

    Qin Zhi Well-Known Member

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    Great tip, Edelheid! I'm familiar with the feature, although I seldom use it. More often than not, I search directly within the app itself, usually just Contacts, Notes and iCloud Drive.

    Like you, I also hate having a crowded screen. One OCD trait I have is I keep the bottom-most icon row empty. Unlike you, however, I prefer to group my apps into pages and dump those seldom-used apps in a folder. My first page consists of my most commonly-used apps, the second one are work-related apps that are not commonly used as those in the first page, while the third page contains non-work-related apps (including those seldom-used apps that I dumped in a folder):
    screens.jpg

    I do occasionally use Spotlight to launch a recently-used app if, at that moment, that the quickest way of doing it (aside from double-clicking the Home button and flip thru the apps I have open):
    spotlight.jpg

    OT: Incidentally, what's interesting about seeing another person's iPhone, iPad or Mac screen is that the icons on the dock generally shows you what apps are most important to that user, from which you'd get a picture of how he/she uses that device most. As for how you use your iPhone, apart from the Phone app (which is a given), you often use your iPhone to browse the web, check emails and listen to music. While for me, I use it mostly for work, so it's calls (including FaceTime), scheduling, checking emails and text messages (both SMS and iMessage).
     
    #3 Qin Zhi, Mar 27, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2017
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  4. Edelheid

    Edelheid PhilMUG Addict Member

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    Interesting case usage you have there! I heard about someone else's home screen sometime last year and his setup and how it varies from ours is that he keeps only one page, at least one row of apps empty, similar to you leaving the bottommost row empty, and limiting the dock to strictly three apps. But to make this setup work Spotlight Search needs to be heavily utilised. I'd wager the concept of notification badges is going to suck (and pointless to open folders that go deep much like mine) with most of the apps now inside folders, but it's why I try to keep at least two pages around.

    If I remember correctly the reasoning behind the three dock icons is so that it's easier to press these apps on the larger iPhone. Thankfully, I don't have to do this on the iPhone SE or the non-plus sibling. In retrospect, I actually do miss the smaller display where my thumb can comfortably reach for everything.

    Originally I used to keep (and wholly prefer) my bottommost row of icons empty, but lately, it's been difficult to actively maintain what with the increasing amount of apps I find myself using more and more every day. I'll probably just end up removing Flipboard in favour of a purely curated feed inside Reeder and move Dark Sky back inside one of the folders for the time being since it's not very functional locally.

    I see you also have LawJuan installed. That's also one of the apps I have installed that isn't inside a folder, but for now, it's on my second page.
    Yup, that's very true. That is why I am so curious to see other individual's desktop and home screens to peek a bit into their habits. If you've noticed iMessage is in a folder while Phone gets to stay on the dock, this a huge distinction for me, primarily because I like it better to initiate calls over typing messages should the situation allow it. (No thanks to Apple's severe lack of keyboard bilingual options.) I don't find myself using my phone regularly for browsing—in fact, I try to steer clear of mobile browsers just out of sheer displeasure for the inherently smaller screens—but Safari is my window straight to services and other utilities that otherwise would've been installed on my phone ultimately contributing to the clutter.

    The present trend is more and more websites try to get you to download their apps, but for me personally as long as they have a decent responsive mobile site going on and they don't have any features locked specifically to the app, I will choose to opt for the mobile site unless it's a service or site I go back to regularly and/or used plenty of times. Back when I still used Facebook, I made sure to keep the app off my phone since it was such a battery hog.

    As for Mail, it works for me so not much opportunity there to look elsewhere. I dumped ProtonMail in favour of FastMail since to this day it still refuses to work with it and I understand that it's for good reason. But at this point in time keeping Mail is much more important to me because I use both iCloud Mail and FastMail. Music, this phone doubles as an iPod and most of my songs are on iTunes (i.e., Bandcamp, Gumroad, etc. purchases are also saved on Apple Music despite suffering from the caveats), and I've been subscribed to Apple Music since launch so I think that's deserving of a spot on my dock.

    I'd try that too, but I'm around people more often than not. I can't even get myself to begin talking to my AirPods in public... yet... :LOL:

    e: But I do use Siri on my computer, in the comfort of my own living space.
     
    #4 Edelheid, Mar 27, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2017
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