By Christian Zibreg on Apr 29, 2016
Another day, another content expansion for Apple Maps. Less than 24 hours after bringing TrainLink and bus routes to commuters in New South Wales, Australia, Apple’s mapping service has expanded its footprint with new three-dimensional Flyover content for Akron, Ohio and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
Apple’s also brought Spotlight Suggestions to the iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and Mac customers in Europe’s Denmark, Norway and Sweden.
Last but not least, traffic information on Maps has gone live in Thailand, bringing the total number of markets where this feature is available to 34 countries, as per Apple’s iOS 9 Feature Availability webpage. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Apr 14, 2016
Apple continues to add more content sources to the universal search capability of the fourth-generation Apple TV. Last week, for example, it added Starz content to the Apple TV’s universal search.
And now, owners of the set-top box who installed CBS’s tvOS application can take advantage of Siri to find such CBS shows as “Big Bang Theory”, “NCIS“, “Supergirl” and others, just by using their voice. Apple’s support document was updated yesterday to reflect the addition of CBS to the universal search lineup for the fourth-generation Apple TV. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Mar 10, 2016
Wikipedia, the world’s encyclopedia and knowledge base, has never had an attractive mobile app. That changes today with a major refresh to its app in the App Store permitting users to explore Wikipedia content tailored to their interests via an all-new Explore feed.
Navigations has been greatly simplified with new touch-friendly ways to discover content, 3D Touch support, Spotlight Search integration and more.
The app was obviously designed with the theme of exploration in mind.
“We all know Wikipedia as a quick fact-checking resource, but the new app is designed to make exploring knowledge on Wikipedia a journey,” developers told me via email. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Feb 5, 2016
According to an Apple support document which was updated yesterday, the universal search feature on the fourth-generation Apple TV will now surface video content provided by FOX NOW, FXNOW and Nat Geo TV channels.
Users who install these apps on their set-top box can press the Siri Remote’s microphone button and say things such as “Watch Life Below Zero” and land on the page that now includes that show by the National Geographic channel, in addition to other content sources. Read More
By Anthony Bouchard on Feb 5, 2016
Starting in iOS 9, Apple introduced Siri Suggestions in the updated Spotlight interface, which is accessed to the left of the first Home screen page.
Interestingly, despite the new Spotlight interface, Apple kept the original Spotlight interface that you can access by pulling down from the top of the screen, and as you might imagine, it doesn’t have all the new bells and whistles the new Spotlight interface does.
A new jailbreak tweak called NearbyNews is now available in Cydia’s BigBoss repository for $0.99 that will let you bring these features to the original Spotlight interface in iOS 9. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jan 5, 2016
Siri and Spotlight Search are way more useful in iOS 9 with suggestions that update results as you type. In addition to relevant apps and people, proactive suggestions also include nearby places such as restaurants, gas stations, retail stores and other points of interest.
Should you find place suggestions unappealing and potentially impacting your privacy, you can turn them off with just a few taps.
In this post, you will learn how to disable suggested location in Siri and Spotlight Search on your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad with iOS 9.0 or later. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jan 5, 2016
Siri on iOS 9 enables a more intelligent Spotlight Search with proactive suggestions that make your device more helpful even before you ask.
These Siri-powered suggestions automatically appear in Spotlight upon swiping down on any Home screen, offering suggestions for apps that you launch at specific times of the day, people you tend to contact at specific times and more. You’ll also see suggested news and nearby places such as restaurants, gas stations, retail stores and more.
However, some people find this additional content distracting and useless. If you would like to use Spotlight Search without Siri Suggestions, this quick post will teach you how to disable the feature with just a few taps. Read More
By Jeff Benjamin on Nov 27, 2015
Unless you happen to have a physical Bluetooth keyboard attached to your iPhone or iPad, you cannot invoke Spotlight on iOS 9 unless you happen to be on the Home screen. AnySpot for iOS 9 aims to change this.
AnySpot lets you assign an Activator gesture to Spotlight so that you can access the search interface from anywhere on your iPhone or iPad, even if you happen to be within an app. If you want Spotlight search to work closer to how it works on the Mac, allowing you to access it from anywhere, then you should consider using AnySpot. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Nov 10, 2015
Aside from several headline feature additions, Apple’s iOS 9 and OS X 10.11 El Capitan software updates contain a bunch of little gems, among them data detectors for flight information.
This permits iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and Mac owners to quickly look up flight status information found in notes, messages and emails using a rich interface with flight trajectory, flight status, arrival times and other information.
In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to quickly preview the current status and other information pertaining to an airline and flight number, with or without leaving the context of what you’re currently doing. Read More
By Jeff Benjamin on Oct 15, 2015
In iOS 9, Apple decided to allow users to be able to invoke Spotlight via two methods. The first method, the swipe down gesture on the Home screen, is the same invocation method employed in iOS 8. The second method, the swipe right on the first Home screen page, is a throwback gesture from older versions of iOS.
SpotlightBeGone is a new jailbreak tweak that allows you to disable one, or both of the Spotlight gestures. If you’re simply not a fan of Spotlight, or if you don’t like a particular method for accessing it, then SpotlightBeGone is the tweak for you. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Oct 1, 2015
In addition to running simple math with a little help of iOS 9’s vastly improved Spotlight Search, your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad also lets you run unit and currency conversions, and get live exchange rates, right from any Home screen.
This convenient feature is another great time-saver provided by iOS 9, even more so if you resort to third-party apps for live currency conversions on the go.
With Spotlight in iOS 9, you can convert dollars to euros, feet to meters, pounds to kilograms, hectares to acres and much more, here’s how. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Sep 21, 2015
Shazam, the popular music and media identification software, has rolled out a brand new 9.0 update to its iPhone and iPad application in the App Store, bringing out support for Spotlight Search on iOS 9, improved Bluetooth listening and other tidbits.
Shazam songs and artists can now be searched from the Home screen on iOS 9 and tapping a Shazam result takes you directly into that content within Shazam’s mobile app. Read More
By Jeff Benjamin on Sep 19, 2015
One of my favorite things about Spotlight and Alfred on OS X, is that both allow me to quickly churn out quick answers to simple math problems. Prior to iOS 9, Spotlight on iOS was extremely limited, but thanks to some major effort on the part of Spotlight’s engineering team, the search feature is starting slowly creep towards its feature-rich big brother on Mac.
One detail that’s been flying under the radar is Spotlight’s new ability to solve simple math problems directly from the Spotlight interface. It’s like having a calculator app that’s readily accessible with just a simple swipe from the Home screen. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Sep 17, 2015
iOS 9 sports an easily overlooked yet significant enhancement to Spotlight, permitting you to search and discover content buried deep within the apps on your device right from Spotlight’s search field on the Home screen.
This was made possible because the iOS 9 SDK gives developers the tools to expose content stored inside their apps to the operating system in order to make it searchable and linkable within Spotlight.
But as you install apps from the App Store that support Spotlight, they get automatically added to Spotlight, whether you like it or not.
And with too many apps feeding their content to Spotlight, the feature shows the tendency to run slower than usual due to indexing. Of course, not each and every app needs to be searched this way.
In fact, it might be prudent to turn off ones that pollute your search results and make Spotlight run slower than usual. In this tutorial, we’re going to explain how you can selectively exclude content from specific apps from surfacing in Spotlight search results. Read More
By Jeff Benjamin on Sep 16, 2015
One of the biggest new features found in iOS 9 is the adoption of universal search. Universal search is a new feature that allows you to search for content within apps directly from Spotlight search.
On previous versions of iOS, searching was limited to the web and first party Apple apps pre-installed on iOS. For example, with older version of iOS you could search for contents within the Notes app, but couldn’t do so for third-party note apps.
With iOS 9’s new Spotlight search abilities, you can now search and discover content buried deep within the apps on your iPhone. It makes Spotlight feel truly useful and brand new. Read More
By Jeff Benjamin on Jun 8, 2015
Spotlight search has been completely redesigned for iOS 9, and it brings with it a new interface, a new search API, deep linking to search results, and more. With an interface that harkens back to the pre-iOS 7 days, search is now a powerful new tool in iOS. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on May 6, 2015
An official support document updated last evening has confirmed that Apple is using a web crawler service called Applebot to index the web for content used by its Siri personal digital assistant on iOS devices and built-in Spotlight search on both iOS and OS X.
An Apple-operated engine, Applebot is described as “the web crawler for Apple” which gathers useful content for products including Siri and Spotlight Suggestions. The document doesn’t state how long AppleBot has been operational in production. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Apr 29, 2015
According to Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, Twitter content such as tweets and accounts are coming to Apple’s Spotlight search engine on Macs and iOS devices, allowing for an even tighter integration between the iPhone maker and the popular micro-blogging service, MacWorld reported Wednesday. Apple added Twitter to the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad as the inaugural third-party service integration in iOS 5 three years ago. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jan 9, 2015
An unusual oversight in how OS X’s Spotlight feature handles privacy settings in Apple Mail leaves the door open to spammers, phishers and online tracking companies who can obtain private data such as your IP address, current operating system version, browser details and more, whenever an email message is previewed in Spotlight.
First discovered by German technology news site Heise, the bug takes advantage of a common information harvesting technique and a Mail setting which determines whether or not the program loads remote content in emails. Read More
By Timothy Reavis on Jan 7, 2015
For years now, Alfred has been a staple of OS X workflow applications, enhancing search on the Mac and adding many features in the process. Spotlight search remained rather antiquated in comparison until Apple revived it with OS X Yosemite, but there’s still much to be desired. While Alfred will continue to hold its well-deserved position as a staple Mac app, Flashlight has the potential to reach far beyond the abilities of Alfred to make OS X’s native Spotlight search an incredibly powerful and useful tool.
Imagine using ⌘+SPACE as a text-based Siri, in which typing the phrase “remind me to Write Flashlight review at 2pm” or “text Mike I’m on Steam, wanna play?” will do exactly as expected. However, Flashlight not only allows reminders to be made and messages to be sent directly from Spotlight – its potential reaches much further. Read More