September 18, 2014

iOS 8 and Search

The addition of DuckDuckGo search is the best feature in iOS 8.

A lot has been written about iOS in the last twenty-four hours, but I wanted to discuss one specific feature that has me more excited than anything else in the release: DuckDuckGo search integration in Safari.

I have used DuckDuckGo as my search engine of choice for awhile now and I always loved the fact that they allow for shortcut searching or as they call is !Bang. Basically, if you want to search a specific site, just put a !” in front of the name 1 (e.g. !amazon for Amazon search or !wiki for Wikipedia search) and your search term.

Here’s where I get a little giddy. In iOS 8 (and OS X Yosemite, of course), you can set DuckDuckGo as your default search engine and you can search the web directly from Spotlight. See what I am getting at here? I am now able to use the DuckDuckGo’s !Bang functionality right from iOS (and OS X) Spotlight, which immediately opens Safari and searches the particular website I wanted.

If there was ever a reason not to use Google or Bing or any of the other search engine options in iOS and OS X, this is it. Glorious!

That is all.


  1. It is generally pretty intuitive, so if you want to search Youtube or Google (!?) or any other site, try its full name, although there are often shorter versions to save on keystrokes. 

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