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Thursday, June 05, 2014, 05:54 am PT (08:54 am ET)

Apple's Safari quick website search in iOS 8 allows faster access to content

Searching through Apple's Safari browser in iOS 8 has seen a number of tweaks and enhancements, including the ability to quickly search the App Store or Wikipedia via keywords, letting users bypass a search engine's website entirely.




Apple's new quick website search feature uses the smart search box in Safari to search within websites automatically. users must simply type the name of the website as part of their search.

For example, searching for "Wiki iPad" will present a top result of the official Wikipedia entry for Apple's iPad. Tapping on this search result instantly takes the user to the Wikipedia page rather than a list of results from their search engine of choice.

The same can also be accomplished to view App Store content by simply adding the word "app" to the search query. For example, searching for "AppleInsider app" shows a quick link to the App Store, and tapping on it directly loads the app rather than loading an itunes.com URL.

Safari will also adapt to a user's browsing habits and history, automatically preloading the top search result, and now it will even even add quick bookmarks to frequently visited sites in the favorites view when opening a new tab.




The default search engine in iOS 8 remains Apple's rival Google, but Apple has added a new option for privacy-conscious users: DuckDuckGo. This search engine can be selected, as well as alternative choices from Yahoo and Bing, in the iOS Settings application.

Similarly, users can also disable the new quick website search and preload top hit features through Settings. The Safari settings menu has also been updated to allow users quicker access to general search settings, making controls over search engine suggestions and preloading the top search result available at the top of the pane.




Finally, Apple has also added a new "About Search & Privacy" disclaimer that helps users understand how the Safari smart search field works. It explains that the one field is used for both searches and Web addresses. Previously, this information was hidden deeper in a more general link about "Safari and privacy."