How to use Android’s In Apps search to find your phone’s content faster

Spread the love

Google is all about helping you find what you want as fast as possible. But if there’s one place where tracking down the right information can be painfully slow, it’s your Android smartphone.

Messaging apps, the browser history, text messages, and articles to read are often siloed into their own little fiefdoms. If Google’s mission really is to organize all the world’s information, this is a place that could use some help.

Google’s In Apps search is an incredibly useful tool, but it’s a little buried. This functions similarly to Spotlight on iOS, which those who have dabbled with the Dark Side may be familiar with. Getting the most out of it, however, takes a little know-how. And if you want quicker access, there’s a trick to add it to your home screen. Here’s how it works.

Search party

The Google app indexes many of the company’s apps and those from third parties that are willing to let Google scoop up the content. In practice, when you initiate a search from the Google search widget or app, you’ll see an option at the bottom of the suggestions to look deeper into your phone’s contents.

in app searchGreenbot

Dig deeper into your messages or the contents of other applications.

When the Google search bar is spinning through its algorithm to give you suggested websites, links from your history, and the content that been indexed, you may also see a link at the bottom to Search In Apps. When you tap it, it will pull up another page that may be what you’re looking for.

You can select More under each of these to get a more extensive list of results. For example, Google found this collection of articles that it thought would be relevant to my search.

in app search espnIDG

A search that begins with “was” will lead you to a lot of ESPN stories.

Using Google’s search this way helps you get to a message or app without needing to think about when you had a conversation or even which app you want to dive into. It can be a great one-stop shop, although it’s not without some caveats.

Understanding the quirks

Getting to the In Apps search is somewhat of a pain. I’ve found that once you start typing you may have to wait for Google to “decide” that this search also includes indexed content. Or, you’ll need to choose from the categories at the bottom of the search bar and swipe left to reach the last tab titled In Apps.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *