in Technology

Spotlight in iOS 7

One of the least used features on my iPhone has traditionally been Spotlight search, located on the left most home screen. You know the one you accidentally swipe to when you are really looking for something else.

Things have changed considerably for iOS 7. There is no longer a specific screen for Spotlight search; it is in fact part of all home screens, and can be activated by swiping down with one finger anywhere on the screen, except the top and obviously the bottom edges.

Spotlight is used to find things, fast. It will find anything in your calendar, contacts and even in email and notes. It has another feature as well; you can type in the name of any installed app, and it will find it for you. With one single tap, it can subsequently be launched.

Why even bother with this?

The brilliance behind this approach to launching apps lies in the fact that you can only fit a limited number of apps on the first page of your home screen. If you are like me, the first page contains the most used apps, while the rest are tucked away neatly (or perhaps more at random) in some folder where you will never find it again.

What this all means is that instead of swiping to the correct screen and opening the correct folder to find the application you are looking for, just casually swipe down and type in the first few characters of the app’s name and then launch it. Spotlight will even learn which applications you most often search for and display them on top.

Launching apps have never been easier. I would however, like Apple to take this to the next level and have a dedicated home screen far left, which will automatically populate with the most used apps, and perhaps frequently used contacts.