The New and Improved Spotlight in iOS 8

iOS 8 brings to your iOS device many brand-new features. It also offers hundreds of improvements over iOS 7. One of the improvements comes in the form of a new and improved Spotlight. If you gave up on it in previous versions of iOS, it's time to take a second look!

I consider Spotlight to be Google for your personal device. Enter a string of text, and it searches your device for anything that matches that... contacts, calendar items, emails, etc. Spotlight in iOS 8 is drastically improved, adding built-in searching capabilities reaching far beyond your device.

Here's a list of what Spotlight searches... all by default! No settings to change, nothing extra to do.

Type in a term like โ€œPoint Reyesโ€ and youโ€™ll get a snippet of the Wikipedia article, including a picture and a short summary. Tap it, and Spotlight takes you to the full article.

Spotlight knows what topics are hot. And as whatโ€™s trending changes, the list it gives you does, too.

Nearby places
Hungry? Just enter the name of a restaurant, and Spotlight will show you one nearby, including the phone number and hours itโ€™s open. Tap to go to Maps and see exactly how to get there.

iTunes Store
Spotlight is a great personal shopper. It can help you get right to the music, movies, TV shows, and podcasts you want.

App Store
Looking for an app you read about or that game everyoneโ€™s playing? Type the name, and Spotlight searches the App Store to find it fast.

iBooks Store
Want to find the perfect book? Spotlight helps you do less searching and more reading.

Suggested websites
Spotlight knows about popular websites. Type in a name, and Spotlight will take you there.

Movie showtimes
Just type a movie name, and Spotlight can give you the showtimes at nearby theaters.

Works in Safari
See all these results in Safari as youโ€™re typing in a search. The results appear alongside Top Hits and search suggestions.

To perform a Spotlight search on your iOS device, go to the Home screen, swipe down and begin typing.

Posted on September 24, 2014 and filed under How To, iOS, iPad, iPhone.