Why we're building the iOS Spotlight Search for Android

Switching from iPhone to Android... the pain

Three years ago I made the switch from an iPhone to an Android. What did I miss the most? The spotlight search! I used the spotlight search so much on iOS, if Apple ever allowed that home screen to change, I would've figured out how to hack their system and make the Spotlight search my home screen. So.... when I excitedly unveiled my Android, everything about it made sense. Everything but the lack of a device search.

Why Google's search bar is dumb

It took me a while to pinpoint exactly why Google's search bar is so useless, but after I spent hours brooding over it, I finally narrowed it down to a couple simple reasons:

google_search

1. Simplicity. A search bar is supposed to be ready for text input the second you touch it. Simple, right?

But no! It's too complicated for the all-mighty G to create such a simple thing. They want you to first click the search bar, which then lets you search the web... which leads to my second problem.

2. The Google Now search bar -- it looks just like a Google search bar because, well, it is a Google search bar. Nobody even realizes it actually searches your phone's content until they accidently scroll past the web results and stumble upon the small button at the bottom that says: search your phone.

Our solution

After waiting two years for Google to fix the problem, I got fed up and decided to do it on my own. We (the WhereDat team) are working to create a search engine for Android that is even better than mighty G's spotlight search. Better and faster. In fact, WhereDat is the fastest search engine for your phone, Period.

Why is it faster? Our iOS's keyboard opens quickly, and you doesn't notice the lag time. On Android, the keyboard is a separate app which takes its time in opening. To fix the lagging keyboard time, we created a keyboard on the home screen that is always open and visible on your home screen.

With the keyboard always open you can easily locate your apps, contacts, webpages and calendar events, all without leaving your home screen.

Besides being faster, how else is it better? Simple. Our data crawling is done locally on the device, not sent through remote servers. Not only does it make the search faster, it also ensures the user's privacy.

Finally, WhereDat's last magic ingredient derives from a custom-built, in-memory database that we built specifically for searching your device's content.

Feedback

What do you guys/gals think? Am I the only one that found this to be a problem?

Please post your comments below. :)

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