With Spotlight, Apple’s system-wide search, you can search for apps, contacts, messages, web pages, music, notes, and other content on and off your iPhone. On iOS it is known as ‘Search’ and you can access it by swiping down your home screen or by opening the Today View screen. It’s not exactly useful, but an accessibility feature can unlock Search so you can access it from anywhere.
The accessibility feature in question is Back Tap and is only available in iOS 14 and above. With Back Tap you can quickly access certain things on your iPhone, such as apps, services and shortcuts. To activate it, just tap the back of your iPhone two or three times and the set action will be opened or performed. One of the best uses for Back Tap is that you can access Search anywhere on your iPhone, not just from the Home screen or Today view.
Back Tap only works with iOS 14 and above. In addition, not all iPhone models are supported. While the iPhone 6S., 6S. Additionally, SE (1st generation), 7 and 7 Plus can all run iOS 14, they cannot use Back Tap. Only models with an A11 Bionic or newer chip can. To be more specific, Back Tap works with the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, X, XS., XS. Max, XR., 11, 11 Pro, 11 Pro Max, SE (2nd generation), 12, 12 Mini, 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max.
Step 1: Set the tap back gesture
To use Search with Back Tap, launch the Settings app and go to Accessibility -> Touch -> Tap Back. Then choose “Double Tap” or “Triple Tap.”
Tapping twice makes it easier to access Search, but can also make it easier to accidentally activate. Tapping three times will reduce the number of accidental activations, but tapping three times can take some getting used to.
Finally, scroll down and tap on the “Spotlight” option below it System header. You can now exit the Settings app as that’s all you need to do.
Step 2: Perform search anywhere on your iPhone
Now tap the back of your iPhone two or three times, depending on what you set up, to run Search anywhere on your device. Rather than just the home screen, you can search from any app on your device. However, there are a few places where it won’t work, such as the lock screen, Notification Center, or App Library.
For the lock screen and notification center, you can just swipe right to go to the leftmost Today View, which contains the search function. For the app library, you can just go back to the home screen and use Back Tap or pull down on the home page to go to Search.
You can perform various actions on the search page. You can start typing the name of an app and press ‘go’ on the keyboard if the highlighted app is the one you want, or you can tap another app result. You can calculate math problems and get instant results without opening the calculator. You can view Siri Suggestions to open recommended apps and actions. And you can easily search for things on your device or in certain apps, as well as do a quick web search.
Tap a result to open the app or action, or click “Cancel” at the top or swipe up from the bottom of the search page to return to where you were.
And again, “Spotlight” and “Search” can be used interchangeably. Apple’s development site still refers to it as Spotlight, as do the Back Tap settings, but iOS user guides and Siri settings only refer to it as Search.
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