Apple AI Chief: iOS 17 gives users search engine choice in private mode

Former Google executive, John Giannandrea, now Apple’s artificial intelligence / machine learning honcho, pointed out a quiet change in the new iOS 17 that allows users to select their search engine when browsing the internet in private mode.

DOJ antitrust lawsuit targets Google's multibillion-dollar default search pact with Apple
DOJ antitrust lawsuit targets Google’s multibillion-dollar default search pact with Apple

Leah Nylen for Bloomberg News:

The iOS 17, released Monday, added “a second setting, so you could choose two different” search engines, Giannandrea said in testimony in federal court in Washington as part of the Justice Department’s antitrust suit against Alphabet Inc.’s Google.

The change means iPhone users can more easily switch between Google and a different search engine with a single tap.

The difficulty of switching search engines has been hotly contested in US government’s antitrust suit, which alleges that Google illegally maintained its monopoly over online search via contracts with web browsers and smartphone makers, including Apple.

Google said in its opening statement last week that it’s easy for users to change search engines in a “matter of seconds.” But on Thursday, Gabriel Weinberg, the chief executive officer of rival search engine DuckDuckGo, testified that Google’s default status on browsers represents a barrier to user switching, saying there are “just too many steps.”

Google’s contract with Apple makes it the pre-selected, or default, search engine in Safari, the web browser for iPhone, iPad and Mac computers. In exchange, Google pays Apple some of the revenue it earns from advertising.

MacDailyNews Note: On your Mac: Safari > Settings > Search and choose your search engine. On your iPhone / iPad: Settings > Safari > Search Engine and choose your search engine.

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    1. It sure is. I just did it in my iPhone. Turn the phone on. Go to Settings. Scroll down to Safari. Click on safari. Select Search Engine and tap on the search engine you want. Then close Settings. At most 6 steps if you include turning the phone on. It takes all of 30 seconds at the most, including turning the phone on.

      1. 30 Steps sounds reasonable to me…

        Decide to change Search Engine on phone.
        Get off couch
        Look for phone.
        Yell at kids for lost phone.
        Find phone in pocket.
        Move arm towards phone.
        Turn on phone
        Prepare to move thumb
        Move thumb to Settings
        Tap Settings

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