Apple Needs a Touch More Search

One of my biggest annoyances with iOS and Apple TV is that I often know exactly what I want, just not where it is. Take for instance the Apple TV.

At $99 it is a fantastic product and with an added subscription to Netflix it is a wonder how I lived before. What happens though if you want to watch a movie, say Apocalypse Now?

Well if you are a Netflix subscriber that would be the first place you start, so you go into Netflix and search (with your Apple TV remote of course) through the database. For the sake of this example let’s say Netflix doesn’t have the movie, you must then back out to the main menu and search the iTunes Movie listings, again entering things with your remote, jogging about the virtual keyboard.

Wouldn’t it just be far more convenient if there was a global search, that when used, returned a result that said: Apocalypse Now is available on both iTunes and your Netflix account, there are also 43 results on YouTube. Perhaps it even states whether buying from iTunes would be a higher resolution or not, but let’s not get greedy here.

Wouldn’t that be a far better user experience, and potentially more lucrative for Apple?

“Sorry, Netflix doesn’t have it — iTunes does.”


I have a similar issue with Newsstand and the implementation of separate but equal with periodicals on the iPad/iPhone. I subscribe to about 5 periodicals in Newsstand and I often find that I have read an article I want to reference, I remember what it is about, but can’t remember where or when I read it. I just know it was on my iPad in a “magazine”.

As of right now I would need to go in and search each magazine “app” (if it has search) and hope to find it. Maddening.

Why can’t I just perform a search at the Newsstand level and see what results I get, regardless of what “magazine” the article was published in? Why must I pinch, zoom, tap, pluck, swipe, and poke my way around until I find the article I need?

Instapaper and Safari all allow me to quickly do this, why not these native ‘buckets’ that Apple has created and forced my content into?

We need more search and less touch, especially when I am paying for so much of this content.

Originally posted for members on: November 1, 2011
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