Spotlight search not working for 3rd party apps

Discussion in 'iOS 9' started by Enjoylife1788, Oct 25, 2015.

  1. Enjoylife1788 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2011
    #1
    Dear all,

    I guess by now, many apps are updated with spotlight search. Where in you can search the apps content directly from spotlight. However, for me, every since iOS 9 GM, it has been very spotty. Most apps dont work. And the ones that do are also very patch. As in If i type "h" few apps would show results with h and the if i type a specific word, then only SMS, Emails, Apps show. All other third party apps disappear.


    Anybody facing similar issues. I think spotlight search for 3rd party was one of the feature i was looking forward to the most. Its a pity it doesnt work the way it should. iOS 9 is more like android. Too many features to mention but very few work the way they should.
     
  2. fox1401 macrumors regular

    fox1401

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2015
    #2
    yes indeed. in most cases you could only search for things that is in the cache of the particular app. not so useful, and the proactive spotlight search only works in US, what a pity.
     
  3. PNutts macrumors 601

    PNutts

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest, US
    #3
    I'm not familiar with this (don't use it). Isn't this something the third-party app developers must implement?
     
  4. fox1401 macrumors regular

    fox1401

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    Sep 8, 2015
    #4
    No, it is not.
     
  5. Mercenary macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 17, 2012
    #5
    Yes it is. They need to enable indexing and deep linking. The only app I have which has done this is myfitnesspal.
     
  6. torukawahata macrumors member

    torukawahata

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2015
    #6
    Actually it has to be enabled by developers! 1password enabled spotlight search and now I can get login info from the app :) Musixmatch also updated their app but I can't get it to work though
     
  7. fox1401 macrumors regular

    fox1401

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2015
    #7
    Just curious, but where do you get that information? Apple never mention deep linking as mandatory although it seems that developers will update their apps with this feature to keep themselves competitive. Unfortunately, not many apps are updated with spotlight search function yet, and some indexing function is limited to internal cache, such as Dropbox, which let users search only what they have recently opened in the app.
     
  8. Enjoylife1788 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 22, 2011
    #8
    This makes it hardly useable as I have thousands of files on my cloud and I wouldn't be opening all of them so that they can be searched. Even apps like IMDb is a waste becaus it searched th cached items. More often than not you would want to search items that weren't searched before.
     
  9. torukawahata macrumors member

    torukawahata

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2015
    #9
    I found some information here: https://developer.apple.com/ios/search/
    1password seems to search the whole app as opposed to Dropbox which seems to only search for cached files
     
  10. thed0g macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2015
    #10
    It's probably developers choice because of performance hit. Searching through a password file is peanuts, since you probably don't have thousands of them. IMDB or Dropbox on the other hand... Now combine many such apps all searching at the same time and you'll get a non responsive device.
     
  11. lolkthxbai macrumors 65816

    lolkthxbai

    Joined:
    May 7, 2011
    #11
    Yup, this is correct. I tried searching for Game of Thrones on HBO GO in spotlight search and it worked flawlessly. I hadn't even watched GoT previously nor searched for it in-app so it's not an Apple restriction but more of an Apple user experience recommendation to developers.
     
  12. Paco II macrumors 65816

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    Sep 13, 2009
    #12
    I'm actually having opposite experience to OP. Apps are indexing well and showing up in spotlight. Dropbox, all my Readdle apps, Marvis, etc. In fact I've been turning off apps since I am getting too many results from apps I don't need listed.
     
  13. fox1401 macrumors regular

    fox1401

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2015
    #13
    Hmm...interesting. This is what I see in Dropbox website:
    "If you’re using our updated app on iOS 9, you’ll see Dropbox files in Spotlight search results. This includes recently used files, plus any marked for offline access."
    So what I mean is spotlight search result does show up for Dropbox but, it won't be searching your entire Dropbox database.
     
  14. fox1401 macrumors regular

    fox1401

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2015
    #14
    This I have to disagree. Imagine how many files and data there are in the internet, and how long does it take for you to google something? And does googling freeze your iPhone?
    The indexing for the first time might take some time (as in OSX spotlight), but once it's done I think there should be no problem at all.

    (I am no expert to programming, so I might be wrong in concepts)
     
  15. electronicsguy macrumors 6502a

    electronicsguy

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    Location:
    Pune, India
    #15
    which makes a lot of sense. otherwise spotlight will end up being so slow, with every app like dropbox or gmail, giving 100s of results
     
  16. Paco II macrumors 65816

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    Sep 13, 2009
    #16
    Agreed. Dropbox's approach is exactly how it should be, and works well.

     
  17. thed0g macrumors regular

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    Oct 22, 2015
    #17
    You are Googling for one query on one source. Now, if you were to search on 25 or more search engines (like apps on the phone), the delay would be larger.

    Also in case of Google, they're professionals regarding bringing latency down for their main service that brings them money. Other companies don't optimize their search so hard.
     
  18. philipyoungg macrumors regular

    philipyoungg

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    Sep 17, 2015
    Location:
    Jakarta Capital Region
    #18
    Are you using 32bit device perhaps? My iPad 3 & 4s didn't index spotlight search from 3rd party apps, while iPad Air and 5s do.
     
  19. pacorob macrumors 65816

    pacorob

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2010
    Location:
    the Netherlands
    #19
    See a list of apps which support Spotlight search in this wiki topic on apps that support the various iOS9 features and look for 'Spotlight'.

    It has indeed by added by developers to their app.

    I would also like to see the option to search for e.g. 'Spectre' and get a result from IMDb app.
    But unfortunately it doesn't support that for movies that you didn't recently search for in the app.
    The feature is less usefull this way also with Dropbox (recently used and/or offline documents) but i understand the reason behind it but this way i will keep using the apps instead of Spotlight if i want to search for a file on e.g. Dropbox or a movie in IMDb.
     
  20. electronicsguy macrumors 6502a

    electronicsguy

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    Pune, India
    #20
    You can disagree all you want, it won't change facts:) You do realize that when you do a google search, the algorithms are executed on 100s of nodes in a datacenter with massive amounts of electricity and cooling right? The search doesn't run on your computer or phone. Every time you run a search, it has to go thru the index, there's no avoiding it. Now the day may come that you can fit the entire data center in your phone. Then, the spotlight search will happen the way you want it to today.
     
  21. fox1401, Oct 26, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2015

    fox1401 macrumors regular

    fox1401

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2015
    #21
    Thanks for explaining. However, what I am still confused is the process you mentioned involved datacenter, so the data processing and calculations mainly is not on the phone itself. In that way, why would it severely slow down the phone? For instance, proactive spotlight search could already give you suggestions from wikipedia, bing, etc. And I don't see people complaining about the function freezing their phones.
     
  22. electronicsguy macrumors 6502a

    electronicsguy

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    Oct 12, 2015
    Location:
    Pune, India
    #22
    I think you're mixing up issues here. When we do google or bing search, the majority of the work is done on the datacenters. The phone or computer only receives the final list of matching websites as the data, which is easy to handle.
    When it comes to Ios "spotlight search", we are talking about indexing and searching local content (in addition to web content). Leave web content out for the moment. Taking the example of dropbox files from above, imagine if the OS had to build an index of every file in your dropbox account and search thru them for a search query. If you dropbox has more than say 1000 files, its going to have significant latency for the "search". so every time you pull down on the home screen and type, it'll show up as a lag. The more apps and their local content we add to that search, higher will be the lag. so its a wise policy to limit the amount of data that spotlight should have to search thru in the first place.
     
  23. Enjoylife1788 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2011
    #23
    I understand the Dropbox and similar apps issue.

    But what about apps such as IMDb where as in all it has to do it pass the query to IMDb servers and return with suggestions. Point is that it does work at times and at times it doesn't. There are so many apps that are just web searching but they aren't working properly.

    Also what does proactive search do in United States that it doesn't do elsewhere?
     

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