Spotlight, an advanced utility for searching, migrated from the Mac to the iPhone and iPod Touch, and we should all be grateful for that since it is quite useful. Spotlight also happens to be one of my favorite iPhone features, and this week I'd like to share some of my favorite tips about it.
You access Spotlight from the iPhone Home screen by pressing the Home button once when you are on the first Home screen, or by simply swiping left while that screen is displayed.
If you are on a different screen, press the Home key twice: once to get Home, pause briefly, and again to open Spotlight (or simply swipe left instead of pressing Home again).
Performing a search
You will now be able to search your entire device for apps, songs, and e-mails. Simply start typing the word, name of an app, name of a song, or e-mail content you are seeking, and the iPhone will display it as you type. I have nearly 400 apps and not all of them will display on the 11 available Home screens, so this feature comes in handy when I need to launch an app I cannot see. If you see an app appear in the search results, tap it and it will launch.
Search from inside apps
The following built-in apps have a hidden search feature: Mail, iPod, or Music (on an iPod) apps, and Contacts. In all these apps, to access the hidden search feature you need to swipe down to reveal the Spotlight search field. This search will be performed on data native to the particular app so its scope is limited. For example, in the Contacts app it will only show results from the contact apps database. It does not currently support the capability to search your entire device as Spotlight does from the Home screen.
Now you will have no excuses about losing something, since looking for that honey-do list, favorite song, or important e-mail from your boss is easy with Spotlight.