Everything new in Spotlight in iOS 15

Source: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore

Spotlight has been around for almost two decades on macOS, and arrived on the iPhone in 2009. The built-in, system search tool makes for a super-quick way to open apps, find a specific contact, or launch a web search, but has evolved to make its debut much more than toga.

In iOS 15, Spotlight is more powerful than ever with a host of new features that make it the best iPhone search tool. Here’s what’s new in Spotlight iOS 15.

Rich search results

Spotlight on Ios 15 Rich search results

Source: Apple

Spotlight has been redesigned to show you more content at a glance when looking for information about music artists, entertainers, TV shows and movies.

Tap, for example, the search result of a musician or band and you’ll get biographical information, links to albums, their social media accounts, music videos, suggested websites, and more. Similarly, a movie or TV show search will show you information about the cast and crew, a link to the Apple TV app, showing announcements, links to sites like IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes, and more.

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Magnifying glass Ios 15 Contact

Source: Apple

In addition to celebrities, these rich search results extend to your contacts as well, so you’ll get one page of all the essential information about someone you need to reach. This includes information from their contact card plus quick access to the photos they are in, the links they shared with you, interaction with messages and mail, shared notes, and more.

Photo search

Ipados photos in the spotlight

Source: Adam Oram / iMore

Spotlight in iOS 15 now allows you to search for photos without having to specifically enter the Photos app. When you search Spotlight for photos of a specific person, animal, location, item, or similar, you’ll get relevant results from your photo library. Touching results gives you quick access to sharing options, or you can tap “Search in app” to see even more results in the Photos app.

Spotlight even includes a new Live Text feature to search your photos by the words of your search and will present those results in a section where possible. This is useful if you are looking for a screenshot of a recipe or photo that includes a road sign.

Web image search

Spotlight on Ipados 15 Web images

Source: Adam Oram / iMore

In addition to searching your own photo library, Spotlight can also be used to search for images from the web, so you don’t have to go to Google Images to do the same thing. Touching the image results will display more images that are similar to the one you selected.

If by default you don’t see web image results with your search, you can always add the word “images” to your search to ask Spotlight to show them to you.

Install and uninstall applications

A smaller but useful addition to the features in Spotlight in iOS 15 is the ability to install apps directly from the search. So instead of launching from the App Store or seeing the App Store interspace, you can approve the download directly in Spotlight.

On the other hand, you can search for an app that is already on your device and delete it from Spotlight. This is a great add-on for anyone who has too many apps on their devices and doesn’t want to search home screens, folders, or an app library to find it.

As for apps, you can now drag and drop apps from Spotlight to the home screen. This is more obvious and works better in iPadOS 15, where you can still see part of the home screen, but it also works on the iPhone if you start dragging the app icon, closing Spotlight, and then placing the icon on the home screen.

Improved results Map

The map results have attracted the spotlight in iOS 15 with a redesigned layout for quick access to critical information and embedding app clips. In places that support this feature, you’ll be able to do things like browse menus, book reservations, book tickets, see show dates, and more.

Screen lock and access to the notification center

Spotlight Ipados 15 Lock screen

Source: Adam Oram / iMore

The number of places you can access Spotlight has also expanded in iOS 15. Now, other than swiping down on any home screen, you can launch the same gesture on your iPhone or iPad’s lock screen as in the Notification Center.

Importantly, when your device is locked, searches will not yield any personal information about you or your contacts, photos or messages, but will instead provide web results, Wikipedia content, news, and other general information.

As you watch your device with Face ID while searching, you’ll see personal results as your phone or iPad will unlock, making it easy to pick up your phone and search quickly without thinking.

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Naveen Kumar

Friendly communicator. Music maven. Explorer. Pop culture trailblazer. Social media practitioner.

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