Spotlight is the name of the Apple’s search technology for Mac and iOS and it is able to help you find almost anything. It is not just for stuff on your iPhone, either. This one is also able to help you find nearby places, look up words in the dictionary, and even do currency and unit conversions, all from one search box.
How to access Spotlight app on iPhone? In iOS 7 and newer, you are able to access Spotlight by going to your home screen. Please keep in mind that this app does not work if you are already in the app and swiping down from the middle of the screen. Remember to not swipe from the very top of the screen, the one gesture reveals the Notification Center or, on iPhone X and newer, Control Center. Apparently, the Spotlight search bar will pull down from the top of the screen. You can just type what you are looking for and the results will appear on the screen.
When it comes to spotlight search results, they are sorted by the app that stores the data being shown. If one search result is the email, it will be listed under the Mail heading, while the search result in the music app will show up under that. Once you found the result that you are looking for, you can tap to be taken to it.
Aside from the apps on your phone, Spotlight also can search the web. If there are relevant results for the search, you will be able to get the suggestions of answers from Siri, the web, Wikipedia, and many more. At the bottom of the list of search results, you will also have one tap shortcuts for searching on the web, in the App Store and in the Apple Maps.
More than the last few versions of iOS, Spotlight has ceded more and more territory to the thing called Siri. In iOS 7, for instance, this app had its own Settings menu that will allow you to select which apps Searchlight examines. By iOS 12, this one is governed by Siri. For instance, in order to make the app invisible to Spotlight, you need to disable it from the Siri & Suggestions settings in the app list. In order to access it, please tap Settings > Siri & Search. At the bottom of the screen, every app lists its on or off configuration.
For your information, other search tools operate from within the certain apps, including:
- Mail App: You can access the search bar by simply dragging the mailbox window down to reveal it.
- Music App: The tool will be hidden and you have to pull the screen down to reveal it and search your music library.
- Messages App: The search bar at the tops will let you search the text of conversations to find where your terms have been discussed.
- Contacts & Phone Apps: It is hidden at the top of the contacts list in iOS 3-6.
- Notes App: You can access the search bar from the top of the screen.
- Safari: You can search your preferred search engine by typing text into the address bar.