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Apple Confirms 'Applebot' as In-House Web Crawler for Services Like Siri and Spotlight

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Apr 12, 2001
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Apple yesterday gave a few interesting details on something it's calling "Applebot", the company's in-house web crawler that is used to help power services like Siri and Spotlight on iOS and OS X platforms (via Apple Insider).

In the past, Apple has partnered with companies like Google and Bing to provide search results in a few of its own products like Siri, but this week's news could be an additional hint at Apple introducing its own complete search platform in the future. Most recently, in early February, a job listing provided more fuel to a rumor that the Cupertino company was doing just that, although it was likely to be describing ongoing efforts to improve Spotlight and was never legitimized.

What we now know as Applebot was first spotted by developer Jan Moesen last November, who discovered numerous web hits from a crawler indexing from a block detailed to be 17.0.0.0/8, an IP address block owned and operated wholly by Apple. This, coupled with the impending termination of a contract between Apple and Google for a Safari search engine deal, began fueling rumors of Apple's own dedicated web engine.

The confirmation of Applebot is the closest the company has come to speaking directly on the subject, but it is still unclear whether the web crawler is setting up to be the basis for an Apple-branded search engine, or simply acting as more support for third-party search platforms when running Apple's Siri and Spotlight services.

Article Link: Apple Confirms 'Applebot' as In-House Web Crawler for Services Like Siri and Spotlight
 

japanime

macrumors 68020
Feb 27, 2006
2,139
2,395
Japan
Interesting. But just as Apple Maps is no match for Google Maps, the same will probably be true of an Apple search engine vs Google search.
 
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TallManNY

macrumors 601
Nov 5, 2007
4,366
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Tough to compete with Google, especially in its bread and butter. But just like Apple Maps has taken huge market share from Google Maps (and I believe growing as iPhone takes market share from PCs and Android Smart Phones), I suspect this search will take market share from Google.
 
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RakEgg

macrumors newbie
Aug 1, 2008
19
7
Yep

Go Apple (search) go! Am sick of all that "Do no Evil" BS.
 
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T'hain Esh Kelch

macrumors 603
Aug 5, 2001
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If they plan on making a search engine as good as the comparable Maps experience, then, well, I think I will stick to Google.
 
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H2SO4

Suspended
Nov 4, 2008
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Tough to compete with Google, especially in its bread and butter. But just like Apple Maps has taken huge market share from Google Maps (and I believe growing as iPhone takes market share from PCs and Android Smart Phones), I suspect this search will take market share from Google.

Don’t be ridiculous. Apple Maps is only available on Apple devices IIAC. Google maps is available everywhere on every platform.
 
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ArtOfWarfare

macrumors G3
Nov 26, 2007
8,926
4,786
Just buy DuckDuckGo already! :p

Competition is good for us, the consumers, right?

If Apple were to buy DuckDuckGo, I would fear that we would lose the ability to use it in any browser other than Safari, which, since Apple killed Safari for Windows several years ago, would mean that the only way to use DuckDuckGo anymore would be from iOS or OS X.

Personally, I'm often forced to use Windows 7 at work, so I like the ability to use DuckDuckGo with Chrome.
 
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the8thark

macrumors 601
Apr 18, 2011
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Interesting. But just as Apple Maps is no match for Google Maps, the same will probably be true of an Apple search engine vs Google search.

I would downvote you if I could.
Apple and google maps are good at different things. google search though is just a paid service where google chooses some of the higher bidders to get better search results. It's not an unbiased internet search.
 
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ArtOfWarfare

macrumors G3
Nov 26, 2007
8,926
4,786
Why not just buy Google?

I don't think an Apple-Google merge would be allowed. The resulting company would control 98% of the smartphone OS market. Even at its peak, I don't think Windows was ever quite that prevalent (I think it peaked around 96%.)
 
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dannys1

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Sep 19, 2007
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Why are all the posts in this thread about an Apple search engine? There is no mention of an Apple search engine, there is not going to be an Apple search engine - lots of companies have crawler bots and don't create search engines as a direct result of them. Its as it says, for Siri and Spotlight.
 
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Keirasplace

macrumors 601
Aug 6, 2014
4,059
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Montreal
Why are all the posts in this thread about an Apple search engine? There is no mention of an Apple search engine, there is not going to be an Apple search engine - lots of companies have crawler bots and don't create search engines as a direct result of them. Its as it says, for Siri and Spotlight.

It is a search engine, just not a general one like Google. With the watch, Siri searches will take on a much bigger importance and I think that's why Apple is ramping up their effort.
 
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AngerDanger

macrumors 601
Dec 9, 2008
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Why are all the posts in this thread about an Apple search engine? There is no mention of an Apple search engine, there is not going to be an Apple search engine - lots of companies have crawler bots and don't create search engines as a direct result of them. Its as it says, for Siri and Spotlight.

It was mentioned in the article.

This, coupled with the impending termination of a contract between Apple and Google for a Safari search engine deal, began fueling rumors of Apple's own dedicated web engine.

The confirmation of Applebot is the closest the company has come to speaking directly on the subject, but it is still unclear whether the web crawler is setting up to be the basis for an Apple-branded search engine, or simply acting as more support for third-party search platforms when running Apple's Siri and Spotlight services.
 
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MartinAppleGuy

macrumors 68020
Sep 27, 2013
2,246
887
Why not just buy Google?

It would be funny for Apple to just but and take out the competition. I read that they would actually have enough money to buy both Google and Miscrosoft,mane still have a little change left :p
 
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Why are all the posts in this thread about an Apple search engine? There is no mention of an Apple search engine, there is not going to be an Apple search engine - lots of companies have crawler bots and don't create search engines as a direct result of them. Its as it says, for Siri and Spotlight.

It's a rumor site. We speculate the hidden meaning of everything. Apple can roll out a colorful invitation to their next big event and we'll chip in 500 posts seeing 1000 hidden meanings in differing shades of blue and fine imagery details (real or imagined).
 
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AngerDanger

macrumors 601
Dec 9, 2008
4,943
23,984
It is a search engine, just not a general one like Google. With the watch, Siri searches will take on a much bigger importance and I think that's why Apple is ramping up their effort.

It was mentioned in the article.

It's a rumor site. We speculate the hidden meaning of everything. Apple can roll out a colorful invitation to their next big event and we'll chip in 500 posts seeing 1000 hidden meanings in differing shades of blue and fine imagery details (real or imagined).

Would you guys be willing to start a trio with me called The Overkillers?
 
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ChristianVirtual

macrumors 601
May 10, 2010
4,111
278
日本
This makes sense, also in combination with all the DC capacities :apple: is building up; don't think that is only for cloud storage and Siri.
But it will take some years for them to beat Google on its core competence.
 
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Imory

macrumors 6502a
Feb 2, 2013
796
258
Wonderland
It would be funny for Apple to just but and take out the competition. I read that they would actually have enough money to buy both Google and Miscrosoft,mane still have a little change left :p

Google is in the advertising business, but seeing as they have such a vast amount of services, I don't think Apple would be allowed to buy Google because of anti-trust issues. DOJ and EC would probably intervene.

The situation between Intel and AMD is obviously a bit different, but Intel basically can't buy AMD, since that would effectively give them complete monopoly on the market.

Apple and Google are such giants at this stage, that I think they'd face a similar issue.
 
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KALLT

macrumors 603
Sep 23, 2008
5,160
3,209
Apple doesn’t need to enter web search. Using integrated search engines like Spotlight and Siri is way better, just as Google is focussing more and more on Google Now and Microsoft on Cortana. There are ample search engines that can do the rest.
 
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TallManNY

macrumors 601
Nov 5, 2007
4,366
1,220
Don’t be ridiculous. Apple Maps is only available on Apple devices IIAC. Google maps is available everywhere on every platform.

I think you are missing what is happening in the real world. People are using their PCs less as they use iPad and iPhone more. On the i-device they use the Maps App. The Maps App does not have to be on the PC in order for Google to get less traffic on Google Maps.

In the Smart Phone market it is quite possible that Android Market share has peaked (at least for the short term, this game is long). And it may have especially peaked amongst the high usage customers that actually use their smart phones for the smart features. Selling an Android Smart Phone to a customer who only uses it as a mini-TV doesn't do Google that much good and it especially doesn't do Google much good if that Customer either (A) doesn't use Maps to seek out places to shop and buy or (B) doesn't buy enough when he/she does that the places and shops want to spend a lot to advertise on Google Maps.
 
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Rogifan

macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2011
22,080
27,651
Why are all the posts in this thread about an Apple search engine? There is no mention of an Apple search engine, there is not going to be an Apple search engine - lots of companies have crawler bots and don't create search engines as a direct result of them. Its as it says, for Siri and Spotlight.

Nothing like jumping to conclusions. Just like people did when a rumor came out that Marissa Mayer hit up Jony Ive at a party pitching Yahoo search. Immediately, based on this one rumored conversation, people freaked out assuming Apple was ditching Google search for Yahoo.

I don't doubt for a second that Apple may be intentionally driving traffic away from Google but that doesn't mean they're launching their own search engine.
 
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