Apple's Safari quick website search in iOS 8 allows faster access to content

Posted:
in iPhone edited June 2014
Searching through Apple's Safari browser in iOS 8 has seen a number of tweaks and enhancements, including the ability to quickly search the App Store or Wikipedia via keywords, letting users bypass a search engine's website entirely.




Apple's new quick website search feature uses the smart search box in Safari to search within websites automatically. users must simply type the name of the website as part of their search.

For example, searching for "Wiki iPad" will present a top result of the official Wikipedia entry for Apple's iPad. Tapping on this search result instantly takes the user to the Wikipedia page rather than a list of results from their search engine of choice.

The same can also be accomplished to view App Store content by simply adding the word "app" to the search query. For example, searching for "AppleInsider app" shows a quick link to the App Store, and tapping on it directly loads the app rather than loading an itunes.com URL.

Safari will also adapt to a user's browsing habits and history, automatically preloading the top search result, and now it will even even add quick bookmarks to frequently visited sites in the favorites view when opening a new tab.




The default search engine in iOS 8 remains Apple's rival Google, but Apple has added a new option for privacy-conscious users: DuckDuckGo. This search engine can be selected, as well as alternative choices from Yahoo and Bing, in the iOS Settings application.

Similarly, users can also disable the new quick website search and preload top hit features through Settings. The Safari settings menu has also been updated to allow users quicker access to general search settings, making controls over search engine suggestions and preloading the top search result available at the top of the pane.




Finally, Apple has also added a new "About Search & Privacy" disclaimer that helps users understand how the Safari smart search field works. It explains that the one field is used for both searches and Web addresses. Previously, this information was hidden deeper in a more general link about "Safari and privacy."

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    clemynxclemynx Posts: 1,495member
    Duck Duck go is amazing.
    It works almost as good as Google, AND the results page is completely customizable.
    I removed the header and changed the link colors and put the font to Helvetica Neue.
  • Reply 2 of 16
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,713member
    Cutting Google Search from the iOS experience pie, one slice at a time.
  • Reply 3 of 16
    asciiascii Posts: 5,363member
    In the Keynote they showed Spotlight searches that also sent the query to Wikipedia and other online services (that's what it appeared like anyway). Is there any new thing (e.g. in the Security & Privacy Preferences) to stop this and make Spotlight searches purely local?

    I remember when the Dash Search in Ubuntu started sending every local search query to amazon.com and there was some user dissatisfaction with that.
  • Reply 4 of 16
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    clemynx wrote: »
    Duck Duck go is amazing.
    It works almost as good as Google, AND the results page is completely customizable.
    I removed the header and changed the link colors and put the font to Helvetica Neue.

    I tried switching but could only last about 24 hours. Besides their results not being as good as Google their Image Search is this weird row of images that I have to inefficiently scroll across to access.

    edit: You can go full screen with images but after clicking the Image button on the left you need to go all the way tto the right side of the screen to open it up. I didn't see an option to reduce this to a single click, like Google Images. That's enough inefficiency for me to not consider DDG again.
  • Reply 5 of 16
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ClemyNX View Post



    Duck Duck go is amazing.

    It works almost as good as Google, AND the results page is completely customizable.

    I removed the header and changed the link colors and put the font to Helvetica Neue.

     

     

    I like it better than Google.  It skips a lot of the payola based results.  

     

    When you try to watch a Youtube video it reminds you that,"Youtube (owned by Google) does not let you watch videos anonymously.  As such, watching Youtube Videos here will be tracked by YouTube/Google."

     

    I'm using the Safari plugin for Mavericks.  I'm definitely keeping DDG as my primary search engine.

  • Reply 6 of 16
    blackbookblackbook Posts: 1,361member

    Apple is going to weaken consumer's reliance on Google one step at a time. With Smart Search's addition of Top Hit (which is probably provided by Bing), App Store, Wikipedia, Wolfram Alpha, and Movie Showtimes (likely from Fandango) most people's basic search needs will be taken care of without having to go to Google.

  • Reply 7 of 16
    eckerguseckergus Posts: 96member
    What Apple is doing is super smart. Apple has already taken subscribers away from content providers via iTunes and the AppStore. Now, by implementing this type of search, Apple is making user use services (such as Google) without partaking of their business (i.e. Google adds). You see, if you use Apple's new search method you still get to use Google but without visiting their webpage, which means you are using them without having to watch their adds! How awesome is that? Talk about Apple getting Google back! (the smart way).
  • Reply 8 of 16
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by John.B View Post



    Cutting Google Search from the iOS experience pie, one slice at a time.

    I like the way you think John...the only thing I use Google for is Search. Can't wait till Apple gives them the "old heave-ho!"

     

    :)

  • Reply 9 of 16
    pendergastpendergast Posts: 1,358member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ascii View Post



    In the Keynote they showed Spotlight searches that also sent the query to Wikipedia and other online services (that's what it appeared like anyway). Is there any new thing (e.g. in the Security & Privacy Preferences) to stop this and make Spotlight searches purely local?



    I remember when the Dash Search in Ubuntu started sending every local search query to amazon.com and there was some user dissatisfaction with that.

     

    Why would this bother you if it goes directly to an online service? It is likely routed through Apple's servers and is anonymized before sending it to Wikipedia, etc. 

     

    Or are you concerned about the data going to Apple?

  • Reply 10 of 16
    badmonkbadmonk Posts: 662member
    I like the way you think John...the only thing I use Google for is Search. Can't wait till Apple gives them the "old heave-ho!"

    :)

    letting the googlepus die one small cut at a time is a good thing....this is brilliant of Apple and it improves the user experience in the process!
  • Reply 11 of 16
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by BadMonk View Post





    letting the googlepus die one small cut at a time is a good thing....this is brilliant of Apple and it improves the user experience in the process!

    Agreed, badmonk. :)

  • Reply 12 of 16
    mike1mike1 Posts: 1,527member
    Been using Bing for over a year now. Results are every bit as good as Google and I get a $5 gift card for Starbucks every once in a while. And yes. I would rather have my data go to Apple or MS rather than Google.
  • Reply 13 of 16
    badmonk wrote: »
    letting the googlepus die one small cut at a time is a good thing....this is brilliant of Apple and it improves the user experience in the process!

    AND Apple de-googlizes the user experience without the overhead of building and going into the search business... brilliant!!
  • Reply 14 of 16
    blackbookblackbook Posts: 1,361member
    AND Apple de-googlizes the user experience without the overhead of building and going into the search business... brilliant!!

    I 100% agree.

    It's funny because a few years ago people thought Apple should get into the search engine game which I'm glad they haven't.

    On that note, Apple should have done something like what they've done with Spotlight with Maps. Instead of investing in the overhead to get all the maps data they now need, they should have invested in a good user experience and simply gotten partners such as Mapquest, Yahoo, and Bing for the data.

    I'm sure the maps-fiasco was a lesson learned though for them.
  • Reply 15 of 16
    asciiascii Posts: 5,363member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Pendergast View Post

     

     

    Why would this bother you if it goes directly to an online service? It is likely routed through Apple's servers and is anonymized before sending it to Wikipedia, etc. 

     

    Or are you concerned about the data going to Apple?


    Well, the Internet is a big bad place and your home computer probably less so, that is a reason enough to segregate search.

     

    e.g. a family has young children that use the computer. On Mavericks they type pussy cat in to Spotlight and they get the pictures they drew for a school assignment. On Yosemite they do the same thing and, well, what happens when you type pussy in to an Internet search engine? Or the same argument could be made for adults in the workplace, someone looking over their shoulder sees all this NSFW content popping up in their search results and they get in trouble. 

     

    This is not a theoretical only problem, it really happened on Ubuntu and caused them to add an option to not include online search results in a later OS update. http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2063868

  • Reply 16 of 16
    bestkeptsecretbestkeptsecret Posts: 2,524member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ClemyNX View Post



    Duck Duck go is amazing.

    It works almost as good as Google, AND the results page is completely customizable.

    I removed the header and changed the link colors and put the font to Helvetica Neue.

     

    Is there an app for Duck Duck Go? I seem to recall reading about one but have not found it in the app store.

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