How to Make Good Use Of The Android Search Button

Are you one of those people who is constantly doing something on your Android phone? If you are anything like I am, you likely use the search function a fair amount. Once you start to use the Android search feature, you can find and navigate to things with less hassle.

One of the most powerful buttons on an android phone is the search button. You know, the magnifying glass button. If you aren’t using it regularly, perhaps you don’t know what pressing this one button can do for you.

Here are a few tweaks to help you give the Android search button even more power.

In the settings

I know a lot of people don’t go poking around in the settings if they don’t have to. One tip for better searching on Android involves adding some choices to your search.

Press the Android search button and look for the Google icon at the top. This is where you can change how the Android search acts. You can search a bunch of different applications. When you install applications to your Android device, you cannot search these apps by default. You need to go into the settings and allow them to be searched.

To add new applications to the Android search screen, you need to:

  1. Press the search button.
  2. Press the menu button.
  3. Select search settings.
  4. Select searchable items.
  5. Check all of the boxes for the apps you want to search within.

search-key-check-to-add-apps

Now when you go back into the search screen by pressing the magnifying glass (search button). When you press the Google logo next to the search bar, you will see the apps you selected available to search now.

search-key-apps-added

Searchify

Searchify is an application that adds functionality to your Android search button. What I mean is it lets you search certain web pages and search Google using shortcuts in front of your search term. They are essentially search operators similar to the operators for search engines.

A couple of the terms to use before your search term are:

  • twt will search twitter for your query
  • slang in front of your search will take you to results in the Urban dictionary.

To activate Searchify, install the app from the market. Once it is installed, you will need to follow the steps listed above to activate it in the Android search settings.

search-key-searchify-features

LaunchKey

LaunchKey is another application to add even more function to the Android search button. LaunchKey works in a way similar to QuickDesk. By long pressing the Android search button, you can choose 9 application or system shortcuts.

Download LaunchKey APK. After you install and run it for the first time, you will need to do a little configuring. I chose the custom menu option.

search-key-choose-activation-button

From there you will need to long press the Android search button. When you do, you will be asked to choose the default action. Check the box Use by default for this action then select LaunchKey.

search-key-choose-default

Choose what applications or system functions you’d like to have access to by following the onscreen instructions.

Conclusion

The more you can access with fewer clicks, swipes or typing, the more productive you will be using your Android phone. The trick is to keep it simple enough where you do not need to radically change the way you search. Most people struggle when they need to learn a whole new system.

The addition of Searchify and LaunchKey will let you keep doing what you are doing, but adds a few useful features.

What Android productivity tips or apps do you have to share?

image credit: somegeekintn