Friday, 21 January 2011

iPhone 4 Contacts: how to get to the search box faster

It can be hard to find a contact on the iPhone 4 if you previously viewed a contact, and then later went back to Contacts, because then it shows the screen positioned against the contact you previously viewed, instead of going the top of the Contacts list. Frustratingly, there's no Search box visible at all. Like this:

So you then have to scroll, sometimes for a very long time, to get to the top of the Contacts list, before you can use the search box to search your Contacts.

Well here's a tip on a simple workaround for this usability annoyance. At least. it works for my Gmail contacts.

  1. In Contacts, even if you're in the middle of the Contacts list, the Groups button should still be visible at the top left of the screen. It's outlined in red in the pic above. So just tap Groups.

  2. Then, in the next screen tap Contacts:

  3. And now you'll be back in your Contacts list, but this time with the search box immediately visible at the top.

  4. This is the trick I use, but if someone knows anything better, like getting the Search box to show permanently at the top of Contacts, please let me know!


aymeric said...

Just tap on the clock of your iPhone in the upper bar ^^

Taylen said...

just hit the magnifying glass icon at the top of the alphabet. brings you directly to the search bar...

Anonymous said...

Just hit the home button twice to bring on the phone search box.

Improbulus said...

Thanks for the comments.

Unfortunately on my iPhone 4 at least, and some others I know of, sometimes the search icon/box are not visible in Contacts and you can't get to it easily without lots of scrolling, or the trick I use.

I guess you could search the entire phone, Anon. On my iPhone 4 the home button twice just brings up a list of open/recent apps, but sliding the finger rightward on the screen brings up a window to search the entire iPhone - that might work as an alternative.

The issue for me is that the search icon/box should be visible in the Contacts app at all times even if you've viewed a contact, left the app and then gone back to it later.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, aymeric. That's perfect -- the tiny magnifying glass does the trick!

Anonymous said...

Magnifying glass is still the best option. I love Apple, but sometimes they make the easiest things complicated.