Emojis, for better or for worse, have essentially taken over online forms of communication. And now, thanks to a recently discovered feature in iOS, they are going to change the way you search for nearby places.
The process is actually very simple. Let's say you're looking for a place to grab some beers with some friends. Simply open up Spotlight Search on your iPhone, then type in the beer emoji to get instant recommendations for bars and beer-friendly restaurants in your area. You can do the same for pizza, post offices... whatever!
As of right now, not all emojis are supported, and Spotlight Suggestions need to work in your country.
By default, Apple enables the Emoji keyboard in newer versions of iOS. If for some reason you don't have the Emoji keyboard available when you tap on the globe icon, you'll have to add it manually. To do so, check out our instructions for adding new keyboards linked below and make sure to select "Emoji" from the list:
Swipe down on any home screen page for a Quick Search, or swipe to the farthest left page on your home screen to bring up Spotlight Suggestions. (In the new iOS 10, you can also do a search Spotlight via the Notification Center.) Then open the Emoji keyboard by tapping on the globe icon, or by selecting the emoji list in your third-party keyboard.
Now simply select the corresponding emoji for whatever you want to search for. We used the beer example already, but we've got some more examples below to give you an idea of the power an emoji holds. You can search for clothing, pizzas, tacos, schools, banks, post offices, movie theaters, train stops, parks, and more.
Spotlight will suggest a few nearby places that match the emoji criteria, with the option to tap on them to view more information or open the Maps app for even more locations. I should also note that, in some cases, an emoji will give redundant results. For example, there are a few different beer emojis, and selecting any one of them brings up basically the same results.
This list is quite long, but far from exhaustive. But now you know just how powerful emojis are; They aren't just fun, but can actually help you search for things more quickly, which is super useful when traveling abroad in a foreign country were you might not know the correct word for something using the native language.