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Spotlight gets contextual search and more in OS X El Capitan

At WWDC, Apple announced that Spotlight search in OS X El Capitan is getting some new features, including contextual search and search within apps.

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Secret Spotlight searches: 9 super-smart suggestions!

Spotlight is Apple's built-in search system.

It started life on the Mac, but Spotlight quickly moved to the iPhone and then iPad as well. Over the years, Spotlight hasn't just gotten more knowledgeable in more areas, but its gotten smarter. Now, with Spotlight Suggestions, it can not only help you find the information already on your device, but it can help you find out about what's happening in the world around.

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How to search for Twitter usernames and hashtags with Spotlight

Searching for Twitter users or hashtags on iPhone and iPad is now as simple as launching Spotlight.

While most of us have our favorite Twitter apps, if you don't have yours handy, or you're already using Apple's Spotlight search tool, you can now bring up links to popular people and trending tweets by typing in an @username or #hashtag.

Note: Spotlight isn't searching Twitter per se. It's including Twitter in the pool of information it digs through, but it will only show Twitter results if they're especially relevant. So, Spotlight won't show every username or every hashtag, just really popular ones around the time and place you're searching.

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Apple updates Spotlight with Twitter name, hashtag search

Twitter says that they are partnering with Apple to bring tweets to Apple's Spotlight search on iOS and OS X.

Update: The feature is live! You can now search Twitter @names and #hashtags right from Spotlight on iOS and OS X. Not all searches are returning results yet, but that will hopefully improve as it rolls out.

During Twitter's earnings call yesterday, CEO Dick Costello noted that the company would be partnering with Apple, bringing Tweets to Spotlight. Spotlight is Apple's built-in searching mechanism found on both iOS and OS X.

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Duet Display turns your iPad into a second monitor

Sometimes you just need more work space on your Mac. You could appease this by buying a second monitor, but it may well be that you need this space while on traveling — a place where a second full-sized screen becomes much more cumbersome than helpful. The solution? Use your iPad.

Duet Display is a tethered second-screen option that lets you borrow your iPad's Retina display for your Mac. You can display anything you like on that second screen — including full-framerate video — and interact with that content directly on the iPad, as well.

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Astropad brings the Cintiq experience to your iPad

The iPad's made great progress in the sketching world, but it's still been hampered by imprecise screen mapping and styluses that can't perfectly replicate pressure. The solution from Astro HQ's Astropad is to map the iPad to a different screen entirely — that of your Mac.

Astropad does for creative pros what Duet Display did for second-screen enthusiasts: Not only does it provide a high-quality, high-framerate mirrored display on your iPad that you can draw on, but Astropad goes a step further and integrates with three of the iPad's top-selling pressure-sensitive styluses to offer you full pressure support in your Mac app of choice.

It may not be a true Wacom Cintiq experience, but it sure comes close to fooling me.

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Case Scenario's Pantone Universe gives your iPhone a swatch of color protection

I'll be frank: I hate putting cases on my iPhone. They take away the fit and feel of the device in your hand, they can be overly bulky or clunky, and they almost always get dirty. But after breaking my iPhone 6's screen, I resigned myself to using some sort of cover — no caseless fit and feel is worth a broken glass screen.

Luckily, I've found quite a few awesome iPhone 6 cases in the months since I've started rocking one, the latest of which is Case Scenario's Pantone Universe Cover + Bumper. It's stylish, quirky, and — best of all — super-comfortable to use in-hand.

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Never lose your keys (or phone) again with Chipolo

As my friends, family, and boyfriend would likely tell you if you asked, I'm bad about keeping track of things. I frequently lose my keys, my phone, my iPad, my wallet, and my bag — all within the small confines of my 400 sq ft studio. (I've got a lot of stuff, okay?)

As such, when I first heard about Bluetooth LE trackers like Tile, I was thrilled — but they all had fiddly bits and pieces that made my excitement wane. No way to replace the batteries. Tiny zones. I ended up resigning myself to the fact that the Tile was not, in fact, the droid I was looking for.

Chipolo, on the other hand, might just be the one.

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Yosemite Spotlight, spam email, tracking pixels, and what you need to know

By default, OS X Yosemite's Mail app won't "load remote content" such as the types of images typically requested by marketing emails and spam. You can change that in preferences if you really want to see remote images in your emails — such as the products being advertised by Apple, Best Buy, or other retailers in their mailings — but if you accidentally or deliberately click on spam, those images will load too. Even with "load remote content" left off, however, if any such marketing or spam email shows up as a Spotlight search result, Heisse reports that such remote content will load. So, what's going on and what can you do about it?

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Yosemite, iOS 8, Spotlight, and Privacy: What you need to know

A story made the rounds earlier today calling into question the new Spotlight Suggestions feature in OS X Yosemite and iOS 8. In an effort to garner attention, it reports the collection and usage of the information required to enable this feature in a needlessly scary way. As any long time reader knows, security and privacy are always at odds with convenience, yet features like Spotlight Suggestions — and Siri before it — do an excellent job balancing as much convenience as possible with maintaining as much privacy and security as possible. Here's Apple's statement on the matter:

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