How to Search Your iPad for Apps, Music, Movies and More

iPad Spotlight Search
The iPad's Spotlight Search can be used to quickly load an iPad app.

With so many great apps to download on your iPad, it is easy to fill up page after page of apps. And it doesn't take long before you find yourself searching page after page for a specific app. But did you know you can launch an iPad app even if you don't know where it is located using Spotlight Search?

You can access Spotlight Search by swiping down on the Home Screen. Just make sure you don't tap an app when you initially touch your finger on the screen otherwise the iPad will think you want to launch that app.

Also, make sure you don't start the swipe at the very top edge of the screen. This activates the Notification Center.

When you activate Spotlight Search, you will be given a search box and the on-screen keyboard will pop up. As you start typing the name of the app, the results will start filling in just below the search box. You should only need to type in the first few letters of the app's name before it narrows down enough to show your app.

Think about how much faster that is than searching through several pages of app icons. Just swipe down, type "Net" and you'll have the Netflix icon ready to launch.

You Can Also Search for More Than Just Apps With Spotlight Search

This search feature is for much more than just launching apps. It will search your entire iPad for content, so you can search for a song name, an album or a movie.  It will also search for contacts, search within mail messages, check your Notes and Reminders and even search within many apps.

This allows you to search for a movie name and come up with results in the Starz app.

Spotlight Search will also search outside of your iPad.  If you are typing an app's name, it will also search the App Store for that app and present a link for you to download it. If you are searching for "pizza", it will check the Maps app for nearby pizza places.

It will even perform a web search and check Wikipedia just in case you are interested in the history of pizzas.

In addition to activating Spotlight Search by swiping down on the Home Screen, you can also activate and advanced version of it by swiping from left to right while on the first page of apps. This advanced version will show popular contacts and frequently used apps. It will also provide one button searches for nearby locations like lunch or gas. And if you use the News app, it will show you the top news stories.