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Thursday, August 09, 2007, 11:00 am PT (02:00 pm ET)

System-wide Spotlight search coming to iPhone?

Apple Inc. may use a future software update to address a lack of search functionality on its iPhone handset, according to discoveries made by bloggers rummaging through the device's embedded resource files.

After locating traces of unsupported widgets and applications last month, bloggers at iPhoneology now claim to have turned up two iPhone-specific interface images relating to unsupported Spotlight search capabilities.

The image files, named 'spotlight-full' and 'spotlight-keyboard,' are formatted with dimensions that match the handset's display, implying that they've been created specifically for the device and were not existing Mac OS X files that may have accidently slipped into the iPhone's software.

In particular, the 'spotlight-full' image appears to be a gradient that would form the backdrop of a Spotlight results listing. Similar to the way Spotlight functions on a Mac, an iPhone implementation would presumably scour mail, notes, bookmarks, and media files, presenting results to the user an organized and sortable list.

In a similar instance last month, the same bloggers discovered preference files within the iPhone software for two unsupported widgets (phonebook and translation) and two native applications (radio and unitconverter).

Along with their Spotlight discoveries this week, the bloggers also located a previously unseen widget icon within the iPhone's SpringBoard application directory — a directory associated with the handset's home screen (or application launcher).