Here’s How To Assign Custom Search Actions In iPhone’s Spotlight Search

Spotlight search, although not a feature of everybody’s iOS-navigating repertoire, is still seen as an important feature of Apple’s mobile OS, and although relatively one-dimensional at stock level, the jailbreak scene has certainly found plenty of uses for the native search feature. Those of you who’ve used Alfred for OS X will be more than aware of its strengths when it comes to speeding up the process of finding exactly what you want, and one Cydia developer has taken the strengths of Alfred and sought to implement them into Spotlight.

For those who’ve never acquainted themselves with Alfred, perhaps a little background information wouldn’t go amiss. In essence, Alfred is a search app which allows the user to assign hotkeys for specific types of searches, helping narrow down an otherwise lengthy search in a matter of seconds.

The tweak, which is called CustomSpotlightAction, works in a very similar manner, helping you to, for example, customize searches for different engines in Spotlight. In the example below, I made YH the keyword for a Yahoo! search, and then made a search for Sky News:


As you can see, it very swiftly and accurately brought my results up, but one mistake I did make was going with both letters capitalized. Since the hotkeys are case sensitive, it’s probably best to go with one, capital letter (since the first letter is always capitalized by default), or if you do go with two letters, make sure the second one is lower case. So in actual fact, I should have gone with "Yh".


Not only does CustomSpotlightAction allow you to make custom searches, but also lets you make changes to apps using local url schemes. The author uses the example of the Clear app of setting keyword "Ci" for "clearapp://task/create?listName=Biz& listPosition=&taskName=%@& taskPosition=Bottom" which would allow him to add any task to the Biz list by typing "Ci" followed by the name of the task into Spotlight.

It’s a very powerful little tweak, and is absolutely free to download over at the BigBoss repository. If you wish to make better use of the Spotlight, please do check it out and let us know how you get on by adding a comment below.

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