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March 17, 2014
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Tech Tips: Searching for text, apps in iOS7

I recently upgraded to iOS7, and I can’t figure out how to search for stuff. I used to be able to go to the home page and swipe to the left and then type in what I was looking for. This no longer works. How am I supposed to search for an app or text, if I can’t do this?

Ken admitted to being an app junkie, and he has far too many apps on his iPhone and iPad. He, too, was surprised to find, when he first installed iOS7, that he was unable to search for apps. (And that meant, of course, that he simply couldn’t find many of his apps.) As with many other technical situations, the trick to knowing how to search in iOS7 is in knowing the trick (and that’s purposefully circular logic). The new search technique is certainly not “findable” — you just have to know how to do it. Actually, searching in iOS7 is actually simpler than in previous versions because you don’t have to first navigate to the home page. Instead, you can invoke the search functionality from any page of apps. Simply swipe down somewhere besides the very top of any page. (If you swipe down from the very top, you’ll invoke the Notification Center, not the search functionality). Once you find the search functionality, you can search for apps, or text, or calendar entries, or email, or whatever you like. You can control what you search for, and the order in which iOS7 presents the matching items to you, by modifying the search settings (go to Settings, General, Spotlight Search).

What is that www in a website address? Must i type it?

The other day I was trying to get to a website and I typed the address without the leading “www.” Weird, but I didn’t get to the website I was looking for. I retyped it and included the “www,” and it worked fine. I didn’t realize you had to actually include the “www.” What’s going on here?

We guess you may have come across one of the few websites in the world that don’t behave the same whether you type the “www” or not, but normally, whether you type “www.google.com” or “google.com”, you should end up at Google’s website. The trick here is that the domain name (in this case) is google.com, and the prefix (www) indicates to the “great traffic computer in the sky” exactly which part of Google’s website you want to visit. The “www” is an arbitrary name (originally used as an abbreviation for World Wide Web), and there’s nothing special about that set of letters, except that every website uses it, by convention. As you may know, in order to browse the Web, your computer must communicate with a server (and there are many of these) that converts domain names to Web addresses. For example, when you browse to www.google.com, a Domain Name Service (DNS) server converts the request for www.google.com to an address like 209.118.208.34, and your browser communicates with the server at that particular Web address. Anyone who manages domain settings can configure any prefix and associate it with any Internet Protocol (IP) address. For example, we tend to use webmail as a prefix for our online e-mail access, so we can browse to something like webmail.domainName.com to retrieve our mail.

Now, back to the original question: Just as www and webmail are valid domain name prefixes, so is nothing at all. Normally, companies configure their domains so that www.domainName.com resolves to the same IP address as domainName.com, but that isn’t a requirement. If you find a site where the two don’t take you to the same place, or where domainName.com (without www) doesn’t work at all, you might want to let the owners of the website know! You, as an end user, shouldn’t have to concern yourself with the difference — in a perfect world, typing www.domainName.com or domainName.com should take you to the same place.

Doug Behl and Ken Getz spent years answering technical questions in private, and are minimizing the questions by pre-emptively publishing the answers. Hear Doug and Ken’s tech tips on KNCO radio weekdays at around 8:21a.m. and 5:38 p.m.; find full write-ups including links to the products they mention at http://blog.techtipguys.com. Submit your own technical questions to questions@techtipguys.com.


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The Union Updated Mar 17, 2014 09:18AM Published Mar 17, 2014 12:06AM Copyright 2014 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.