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Home / Mac / Quick Tip: Use Spotlight to search contacts in IOS and MacOS

Quick Tip: Use Spotlight to search contacts in IOS and MacOS



  Contacts Icon It always seems to happen right when I'm in the middle of work on something: someone needs an email address or a phone number for another person. Whether I work with iMac or iPad Pro, it usually means I have to stop what I do, launch the contacts from the Dock, or where the app can hide on the iPad, find the requested information, and then come back to my work. This quick tip makes it a little faster and easier to search for contacts with Spotlight.

As you probably know from previous articles here at Rocket Yard, Spotlight is the search engine built into both macOS and iOS. It is an extremely powerful search tool that searches for keywords or phrases in emails, documents, the Internet, and in databases that are part of the operating system. One of these databases is the contact database, so Spotlight can find contact information in no time.

Using Spotlight for Search Contacts in MacOS
Spotlight works very smoothly in MacOS. While typing, just press Command () – Space bar and the Spotlight field appears on the screen. In the example seen on the screen below, I would look up my sister's phone number, so I just entered her first name. Spotlight assumed exactly that it was my sister (since I talked to her quite often with Messages and Mail) and brought her information to the list of search results.

  (Searching for a person in the spotlight)

(Searching for a person in Spotlight.)

If there are multiple results – as in the search for "David" seen on the screen below – Spotlight shows them all: [19659008] (Spotlight displays several results for the same name) ” width=”640″ height=”138″ srcset=”https://blog.macsales.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Screen-Shot-2019-02-20-at-12.23.38-PM.png 640w, https://blog.macsales.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Screen-Shot-2019-02-20-at-12.23.38-PM-190×41.png 190w, https://blog.macsales.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Screen-Shot-2019-02-20-at-12.23.38-PM-284×61.png 284w, https://blog.macsales.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Screen-Shot-2019-02-20-at-12.23.38-PM-190×41@2x.png 380w, https://blog.macsales.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Screen-Shot-2019-02-20-at-12.23.38-PM-284×61@2x.png 568w” sizes=”(max-width: 640px) 100vw, 640px”/>

(Spotlight shows more results for the same name.)

I actually find using Spotlight to search The contacts are more useful to me than using Siri to get the same information. For example, if I try to get an email address or phone number for another person, I usually have to send email or text that information. If I could ask Siri "Please write Susan's work phone number to Barbara Sande" and get it to do that task, then Siri will have much more use on my Mac. But if I just need to call someone or get directions to their house, Siri is much better at doing the job.

Using Spotlight for Search Contacts in iOS
On an iOS device, Spotlight can be accessed by going to a home screen and swiping to the right. The search box is at the top of the screen (see screenshot below):

  (Spotlight appears at the top of the iOS screen after swiping right on a home page)

(Spotlight appears at the top of the iOS screen after sweeping right on a home page) [19659007] Here I can only enter a name and, among other things, "find" shows Spotlight hits for that name marked with the word Contacts to indicate where the name was found (see screenshot below):

  (Searching for a name in Spotlight on an iPhone)

(Searching for a name in Spotlight on an iPhone)

Unfortunately, Spotlight does not display the contact information in the result – just name and picture if one is associated with the contact. If you just want to call or notify that person, buttons are available to start a phone call or messages chat with them. For further information, click "Search app" to immediately see the person's information without having to browse a list of names.

Spotlight in iOS has a great feature that is not available in Spotlight on Mac – the ability to speak your search criteria. In the first screen of this section, you see that there is a microphone icon on the right side of the search field. Tap it, wait for the time to start talking, say the name, and the name is entered in the search field. Again, this shows a number of findings, with those who are contacts that display a small Contacts icon to the left of the name (see screenshot below):

  (Enter a search name for voice mail contacts and others

(Enter a search name by show speech and other "hits"

Spotlight is surprisingly useful in many ways, and looking for contacts is just one way to speed up the day.


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