I use several news apps on my iPhone X. When I read an article, I often want to search for a specific term within the article (similar to Ctrl-F, "Find", in a browser). How do I do that?

2 Answers 2


Apple doesn't index every bit of text in every app (that's not their own app, like Notes). It's up to the app developer to add a search function or to explicitly make their content searchable by Apple. The latter part is becoming more popular because the iOS Spotlight function is getting better.

For example, if I do a Spotlight search on my iPhone for 'plex', the results include the Plex app that I have in addition to several emails I've received from Plex. These emails are in the Spark email app, so that means that developer added the code to make their content available to Spotlight searches.

At this point, it's hit-or-miss if your app supports this. Often, the developer will indicate if this feature is available on their iTunes page.

  • Hi, my question was corrected by grgarside, so it does not reflect my actual question anymore, I was asking for a possibility BESIDES Spotlight, I don't want to use indexed search, I want to do a simple Ctrl-F (Find) within the page I'm currently looking at. Simple! But Apple does not provide it. This must be a system feature, not an app feature! ... But coming back to the question: maybe it is possible and I'm missing the shortcut?
    – basZero
    Feb 16, 2018 at 7:52
  • 1
    As I mentioned, it's only possible if the app developers add the code the allows Apple to index their content. This is more difficult as the app's content becomes more 'real time' because indexing takes time and I don't think it's constantly run; maybe it's done every 10 min or so, i don't know. Spotlight is the only way Apple makes this available to users and app creators.
    – fsb
    Feb 16, 2018 at 13:55

As a workaround, I'd open that article in Safari and put the term in the URL bar and choose 'On this page' option.

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