C|Net Aims Apple's Spotlight

Appleis new Spotlight search functionality will be one of the major features of Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger, C|Net says, in a story that offers a renewed overview of the technology. With Microsoft on the verge of releasing a new version of its MSN search engine and Google bringing its search experience to the desktop, advanced searching capabilities are seen as the next big thing in personal computing.

"Essentially, Spotlight is an indexing engine that tracks every file as it is created, opened or changed, copied or deleted. By constantly tracking all of those files, as well as their complete contents, Spotlight can then quickly and powerfully search the files at a momentis notice," C|Net explains. "When you try to remember where you stored travel information for your upcoming vacation, Spotlight already knows which files contain the words iJamaicai or ihotel.i"

Out of the box, Spotlight will be able to automatically index and search about a dozen file formats, including Mail, Microsoft Word and Excel, Address Book contacts, and a variety of multimedia files. Developers will also be able to write applications that incorporate Spotlight-based searching.

Last week, Apple posted an article to its Developer Connection site titled "Working with Spotlight," which offers an in-depth look at the technology and how it works.