Has Apple even remotely fixed iMessage search with iOS 10?

Discussion in 'iOS 10' started by james92se, Sep 6, 2016.

  1. james92se macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    I continue to be amazed at how awful and inadequate the search feature is with iMessage. Why Apple has not to date created a fully functioning/robust search feature within iMessage is beyond me.

    I know it's possible because WhatsApp does it perfectly - search for a keyword and get an instant list of every result even dating back months/years. Click on the result and be taken right to that message in the thread. I literally have WhatsApp threads that are 3+ years old, with thousands of pictures/links/messages in the thread and can still search it instantly and be taken to the exact message in question. iMessage on the other hand, if the text in question is older than even a day in some cases, you can't search for it without manually scrolling and "loading" the thread first (and even then a lot of times it doesn't work because as soon as you click out of it you sometimes lose the "loaded-ness").

    That said - does iOS 10 fix this yet? Can we do a keyword search in iMessage and it ACTUALLY return results from long/old iMessage threads? And even beyond that, can we be taken directly to that message in question after clicking on a result?
     
  2. teddybearstand macrumors regular

    teddybearstand

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  3. GreyOS macrumors 68030

    GreyOS

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    #3
    no. just did a search which returned a result from about a year ago. clicked it and it just opened the conversation with that contact showing only the most recent messages (today)
    --- Post Merged, Sep 6, 2016 ---
    and it will only return one result per contact rather than a list of all the matches of that word. terrible
    --- Post Merged, Sep 6, 2016 ---
    but hey i can add a 'slam' effect to my messages so all is good.
     
  4. electronicsguy macrumors 6502a

    electronicsguy

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    #4
    "Why Apple has not to date created a fully functioning/robust search feature within iMessage is beyond me. " - because at the end of the day, there aren't too many people who go into Apple store (or online), look at the Iphone and say - hey i won't buy it till they fix search. The day that happens - Apple will have a fix in a couple of hours
     
  5. james92se thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    Well this is certainly disappointing to hear. I've been seeing all sorts of news the past couple of months about the "major" overhaul of iMessage and you'd think in between adding stupid crap like heartbeats and being able to send doodles that Apple could have at the very least fixed search. But I guess not.
     
  6. asfalloth macrumors member

    asfalloth

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    #6
    Thats weird heres an example latest beta 10 of course.

    searched for "awake" it shoed me 5 different threads from 5 different people clicked on the 2nd one down it took me to a message from july 2015 and flashed the word awake half way up the thread to indicate to me the searched word.

    If thats not what you guys are saying isn't working I'm not sure, but seems fine to me.

    kind regards

    Joe.
     
  7. Feenician macrumors 68040

    Feenician

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    #7
    It seems to work fine. Searches in spotlight link directly to the conversation with the searched message highlighted. I also cannot agree that it only returns one hit per contact, "airport" for example returns three in the same contact for me.
     
  8. C DM, Sep 7, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2016

    C DM macrumors Westmere

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    #8
    Does that include searching for something in a conversation from let's say some months ago (where many more messages have been exchanged since then) and being linked directly to that part of the conversation and not just the most recent part of it?
     
  9. GreyOS, Sep 7, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2016

    GreyOS macrumors 68030

    GreyOS

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    #9
    that's odd, i've tried a variety of words, including silly things like 'the' - whatever i put i will only get one result per contact. the one result for that contact seems to be the most recent one. results that are old do not load the old message when i tap the result.

    if i search 'the' on whatsapp i get multiple results per contact, listing every instance of it.

    iphone 6, ios 10 developer beta 8

    edit: sorry, i just noticed you said spotlight. i was searching in the messages app. if spotlight can do a better job then the messages app really needs updating with this. thanks for finding that.

    edit 2: in spotlight you only get 3 results so it's not always very helpful...

    edit 3: btw, old messages WILL load from search if you have very few messages with that person and they are already loaded in the conversation. with contacts where you exchange many messages and older messages need to be loaded - this is where search fails to jump to the right message
     
  10. Feenician macrumors 68040

    Feenician

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    #10
    Results from May seem fine

    Ah, no. Just takes me to the end of the conversation for a long conversation.

    Yep, agreed on all counts. It only returns a result per contact when searching in Messages and there's some threshold (though I'm not sure what) on age. The threshold thing is weird because it does seem to link some messages that would have to be scrolled back to and loaded - I don't know what the actual threshold is.
     
  11. C DM macrumors Westmere

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    Oct 17, 2011
    #11
    Yeah, I think that's part of the issue with it all is that in an ongoing/longer conversation you aren't really taken to the actual message you are looking for if it's older basically.
     
  12. Feenician macrumors 68040

    Feenician

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    #12
    I do wonder what that threshold is (and why it exists). The result is clearly in the search database, presumably with an index number specifying its place in the conversation. I get that messages are lazy loaded for performance/memory/storage reasons so why not lazy load just that page of results and still have scrolling backward or forward lazy load? :(

    If it was macOS of course the first thing I'd is reach for the trusty mdutil and do a rebuild but of course...
     
  13. james92se thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    I just did some testing on my own phone (granted not on iOS 10) and the threshold at which older messages need to be "loaded" is 55 messages. Maybe that varies day-to-day on an as-necessary basis in terms of memory management etc, but taking a current iMessage group thread from today, I counted 55 messages up and that's all it took to reach the "loading" threshold. This is by far my most active thread and the 55 messages didn't even catch me up for the day, that only got me to about 9:00 AM.

    My buddy used the term "freight train" in this thread this morning. I decided to search for "freight train" - even immediately AFTER "loading" all the messages back until yesterday - and the stupid iMessage search still wouldn't find anything. Again, this was immediately after manually "loading" the thread back far enough such that it should be able to be included in the search. I then decided to search for just "train" and it still didn't find it in my thread in question, but it DID find the word "training" in a several week old iMessage thread with a co-worker. However, her message to me which included the word "training" was the newest message in the thread. So, even though this thread was several weeks old, because it did not need to be "loaded" then the search had no trouble finding it. It did highlight the actual text bubble though - but it is very faint (it actually just darkens it for about a second then goes away). Not really that visually noticeable.

    asfollath - you mentioned a keyword search took you to a message that was over a year old. Was this a sort of "dead" thread or had the thread been active with lots of messages since then? It's pretty clear that the issue isn't the actual age per se of the message but rather whether or not it's caught in the "needs to be loaded" category.

    I really haven't found much in terms of complaints about this anywhere online. It's kind of surprising, really, as I figure millions of people occasionally need to search old messages. I do frequently as do all my friends. Maybe most people just don't know any better and aren't aware that it IS possible (i.e., the perfectly functioning WhatsApp search feature) and since they don't know any better it doesn't occur to them to complain/question it? Who knows. It's interesting to me that older WhatsApp messages in a thread also need to be "loaded" as you scroll up (just like iMessage) but despite this everything dating back to the beginning of the thread is totally and instantly searchable (unlike iMessage).
     
  14. Feenician macrumors 68040

    Feenician

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    #14
    Thanks for putting the time into this. Interesting stuff.

    Like you say, and I said earlier, lazy loading in no way precludes loading old messages from an index. Should work better than it does.
     
  15. joesegh macrumors regular

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    New Jersey, USA
    #15
    Apple is bad at search in general. I wouldn't count on Message search being fixed in the short term. Look at how search works in the App Store or in Maps. Those are arguably way bigger deals than iMessage search, and they're both pretty bad.
     
  16. Feenician macrumors 68040

    Feenician

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    #16
    Apple have had a excellent, functioning, search in OS X since long before anyone else had it working in their OS. Search on the scale of the web, App Store or Maps is a very different problem than searching a local index of text.
     
  17. asfalloth macrumors member

    asfalloth

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    #17

    Hi James, that message thread had 3 more "sessions" added to it since that word that was found by search.
     
  18. epelba01 macrumors member

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    Feb 14, 2013
    #18
    I am on iPhone 7Plus, when I search for messages, I am not able to search thru anything that was sent or received prior to the phone upgrade. There are some threads that claim that resetting all settings fixes it (https://discussions.apple.com/thread/7677413).
    Anyone else facing this issue and has anyone been able to solve the problem?
     
  19. epelba01 macrumors member

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    Feb 14, 2013
    #19
    So I updated to the latest build of 10.1.1 which did not fix it. Also tried the all settings reset, which did not do anything. Tried calling apple agin, of no help. Has anyone been able to fix it?
     
  20. I7guy macrumors G5

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    #20
    I tried with various searches, brought up the first hit in a thread many threads. Threads going back a few years. iOS 10 beta 2.
     
  21. slenpree macrumors 6502a

    slenpree

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    #21
    I don't think they can fix it remotely, probably requires a software update.
     
  22. ashindnile macrumors 6502

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    Jul 16, 2015
    #22
    Remotely in this context meant 'even a little bit'
     
  23. epelba01 macrumors member

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    Feb 14, 2013
    #23
    Were you having issues with 10.1.1 or earlier not being able to search thru the messages? And now 10.2 fixed it for you (I understand you are on beta).
    Thanks.
     
  24. I7guy macrumors G5

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    #24
    I actually never used search in messages, first time in three years.
     
  25. epelba01 macrumors member

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    Feb 14, 2013
    #25
    I had to restore my phone, and now when I try to search the messages, all the messages prior to the restore are not searchable. I am very very frustrated with the whole thing. Very very frustrating.
     

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