My favorite search utility is Phlo for iPhone and iPad, and it has a Mac version as well (though on Mac I use Alfred due to some other features). Phlo starts up fast and keeps your recent queries handy for re-use, and it has some other great tricks that make it useful:

  • On startup, Phlo gives you a blank search box and opens the keyboard so you can get right to typing
  • To check your query against any of the other 30+ built-in search engines, simply tap the menu in the top right, tap the search you want to use, and Phlo will re-run your current query on that service
  • To reorder Phlo’s search engines, tap the menu, tap the -/+ cloud icon for edit mode, then use the handles to drag them up and down in the search engine list (to delete an engine, tap its (i) icon in edit mode, then delete)
  • To set any engine as your default, just move it to the very top of the list in edit mode
  • To add your own custom search engines:
    • Use Safari to run a query at the engine you want to add
    • copy the URL of a search results page
    • enter Phlo’s search engine edit mode
    • tap the + button at the top
    • in the Add Site sheet, paste your search results URL and add a name for the service, then use the test option to ensure it’s working right
    • tap Save
  • You can sync your search engines and recent queries between iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Tap the menu button, then the (i) button at the top of the search engine sheet. Sign up for Phlo Sync, it’s free, then add your new account to other devices

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