How To Search Within Page in Safari for iPhone

How to search within a web page on Safari for the iPhone

iOS 7 was a huge departure from the previous iOS 6 release. One of the changes to Safari may confuse people trying to search within a web page. This article will show you how to search within a web page in Safari for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

Overall, I like iOS 7. The new look is both flat and three-dimensional. Apple made the iPhone even easier to use, while allowing for more customization. Unfortunately, if you are using Safari, it can be confusing to search within a web page. It’s actually not difficult, but it is not intuitive either. Apple seems to have taken a step back in terms of usability, at least with this feature.

Safari Search is on Address Bar

First, launch Safari and open a web page.

Tap address bar to search within a page on Safari for iOS

Next, tap on the address bar at the top and type in the term you would like to find. You’ll notice that when you tap on the address bar, the web page disappears. You are presented with search engine results and matches for the current page. Even though matches for the current page are listed, they’re often obscured by the keyboard. This is a huge usability problem. Don’t tap the Go button, or you will see the results page from your default search engine. Simply tap the screen above the keyboard, and the keyboard will disappear.

Tap screen to hide keyboard and reveal more search results

Next, scroll down to see the matches for your search.

Tap on the matches found on this web page

Tap on the result and you will see the web page with your search term highlighted. You can tap on the angle brackets to move between matches of your search term.

Tap on angle brackets to move between search results

Searching Within a Web Page in Safari is Confusing

Safari’s intra-page search functionality exhibits bad usability. There is nothing intuitive about it and if I haven’t done it in a while, I momentarily forget how to do it. It just doesn’t feel natural to me. Hopefully, in iOS 8, Apple will fix this glaring defect. It almost seems like searching within a web page was an afterthought.

If you search within a web page frequently, you may want to consider ditching Safari altogether. You do have other options, such as Chrome, Photon, Dolphin and other browsers. Searching within a web page in Chrome, for example, is where you would expect it to be — in the menu.

How to search within a web page in Chrome for iOS

Apple seems to be a little too slick for their own good. They seem to want to do away with menus, but it’s not good usability. This is surprising, because Apple usually excels at usability. In this case, Google’s Chrome is easier to use. The feature is exactly where one would expect it to be.

Contrary to popular belief, Apple doesn’t lock you in to their ecosystem of products. You are free to use virtually any browser, media player, or email application. That said, this usability flaw doesn’t have me ditching Safari. There are some cool features in Safari for iOS 7. I really like the tabs view for the iPhone. Safari is stable, fast and integrates well with other iOS apps and the broader Apple ecosystem.

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