Apple has increased its efforts to develop its own search technology as competition authorities in the U.S. and Europe question its deal with Google which pays Apple billions of dollars a year to make its search engine the default option on Apple devices.
In a little-noticed change to the latest version of the iPhone operating system, iOS 14, Apple has begun to show its own search results and link directly to websites when users type queries from its home screen.
That web search capability marks an important advance in Apple’s in-house development and could form the foundation of a fuller attack on Google, according to several people in the industry.
The Silicon Valley company is notoriously secretive about its internal projects, but the move adds to growing evidence that it is working to build a rival to Google’s search engine.
Two and a half years ago, Apple poached Google’s head of search, John Giannandrea. The hire was ostensibly to boost its artificial intelligence capabilities and its Siri virtual assistant, but also brought eight years of experience running the world’s most popular search engine.
An in-house search offering from Apple would provide the company with an alternative to Google search should authorities decide to block the partnership.
The DOJ case has added urgency to Apple’s search efforts, according to the FT, which cites search marketing experts who say the company’s “Applebot” — a web crawler used to build a database of online material — has become more active recently.
MacDailyNews Take: Again, Apple did it with Maps, they could do it with search (and likely start out better than they started in Maps, which wouldn’t be difficult).
As we wrote over six years ago, referring to Steve Jobs’ vow to go nuclear on Google over the stolen product of Android, about the idea that Apple should buy DuckDuckGo:
“If you really want to wage thermonuclear war, wage thermonuclear war.”
Plus, [DuckDuckGo] has a stupid name that just begs to be changed to “Apple Search.” It’s perfect for Apple! — MacDailyNews, June 19, 2015
If you haven’t already, give DuckDuckGo a try today!
Apple allows users to easily switch to the privacy-respecting DuckDuckGo search engine in Safari:
1. Click Safari in the top menu bar.
2. Select Preferences.
3. Click on Search.
4. Select DuckDuckGo.
1. Open Settings.
2. Navigate and tap on Safari.
3. Tap on Search Engine.
4. Select DuckDuckGo.