Universal Search - Extended Searches | webOS Nation

Universal Search - Extended Searches 26

by Adam Marks Thu, 08 Jul 2010 2:49 pm EDT

Universal search is an extremely powerful tool within webOS that allows you to access all kinds of data on your phone within a matter of seconds and from anywhere on your device. To access Universal Search, all you need to do is start typing on the keyboard while in the Launcher or while in Card View (to access card view while in an App, simply swipe up from the gesture area to minimize that app). In addition to Contacts and Applications searches, webOS can also do a variety of extended searches in the web or maps. Continue reading after the break to learn the specifics of these extended searches


Universal Search - Precentral If you enter a search term using Universal Search and webOS can not find any matches to your Contacts or Apps, you will be presented with a list of additional search options. In this example, you can see that typing in "precentral" brings up four options on the screen: Google, Google Maps, Wikipedia, and Twitter. Pressing "Google Maps" will open the Google Maps app and do a search for your entered term, while the other 3 options will open up a web browser and perform a search within the selected service.


Universal Search - Precentral.net Universal search can also be used to directly open up a specific website within the web browser. Instead of doing a search for "precentral", typing in "precentral.net" will cause a fifth option will appear with a website link. Simply press "Enter" on the physical keyboard or select that final option on the touchscreen to directly launch that website.




But what happens if you want to do one of these "extended searches", but your search found a match for a Contact or Application? Simply tap on the top "Find…" row where your search term is listed and the additional options will appear. In the example below, you can see that a search for "webos internals" initially found a contact, but tapping on the top "Find…" row extended the search options available to you. To hide those search options, just tap on that "Find…" row again.

Universal Search - webos internals   ---> Universal Search - webos internals (expanded)

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Good tip, news to me!

I didn't know about tapping the search button again if you found an app or a contact, that's gonna be useful, thanks :)

too bad I cant search my Calendar with my "universal" search!

Yes! This is one of the grossest omissions in webOS universal search. :-(

Amongst not searching mails, of course. (Yes, calendar is more important)

It's funny how something as simple as the discovery of tapping the "find" in universal search can brighten the day. Thank you!

also, if you enter an email address in the universal search, you can email it or save it in contacts

great! Also works 4 telnumbers

Great tip! This actually addresses something that has been frustrating me - searching for terms that use only the letters that are also the number keys doesn't bring up the search options, because it thinks you're looking for a phone number (try searching for the word "effect" for an example).

Actually just tried and 155183 becomes effect after tapping Find. Nice!

Very cool. Little things like this keep me coming back to Pre Central everyday.

universal search is my favorite thing about webOS!

I use it so much I even colored the icons for it:


And don't forget about the command line patch that adds so much functionality.

ha! working on the "Universal Search - Homebrew "add-ons" now that will cover USCL patch!

I had no idea you could use Universal Search to launch web pages. That is fantastic.

I actually didn't know until recently that you can use Universal Search while using Sprint Navigation. Instead of scrolling all the way until you find a recent address that you are looking for, you can just type the name of the Street, Town, Zip Code, or anything that you remember from that destination, and it will bring up all related search terms! I was so happy when I noticed we had that feature! I am always using Sprint Nav. I am so impressed with its accuracy.

Also note that the same Google tricks that work on the PC work here too.

e.g. US 284kbps in MBps

What about adding Bing to the "extended searches" ?

There is a patch for that!

WebOS universal search is cool and quite useful, but unless I'm missing something it's not quite universal. With all of the wonderful capabilities of webOS why won't it seach my memos? Palm OS would find almost anything on my device. It is beyond me why so much resident data is not included in webOS searches. I really love my Pre but as a long time Palm user I regret that I still have to cary my Treo around.

what do you need your treo to still do? if it's Memos, you can go to the Memo app and start typing and it will search all your memos within the app. not part of universal search, but it still works

Thanks Adam! I didn't know that there was a way to search memos and your tip helps a lot. Still, it seems strange that memos are not included in universal search.

I still cary my Treo because I have a logbook app that I've been using for 10yrs that doesn't run on webOS. I bought Classic to try an run it but the Classic is too klugee for me. It's frustrating that the app I miss has been released for iPhone and Android OSs, but the developer has no plans to release it for webOS. Another app I really miss is called Butler from Hobbiest Software mostly because of an alert addon that would pester me every day about overdue tasks etc. Thats another frustration, that I had to spend a while researching alternative task apps because the app that come with webOS is so lame. WebOS needs a little more momentum. Hopefuly that will come from HP. I should let it go but it seems that Palm could have done small things in webOS to support their loyal customers. I'll stop carrying that Treo someday.

Question re: Universal Search - Once you have selected to search, say, Wikipedia, but don't find what you want, is there a simple way to get back to the search options without retyping your search term, so you could do the same search on Google?

you can also try to "copy" the search term from the browser and then paste it into universal search

wonderful, except calender search would be more useful to me.

I wish I could add wolfram alpha to universal search.