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Report: Apple 'Stepping Up Efforts' to Develop Alternative to Google Search

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Apple is "stepping up efforts" to develop its own search technology as U.S. antitrust authorities target a lucrative deal between Apple and Google that keeps Google's search engine the default option on Apple devices, according to a new paywalled Financial Times report.


In iOS 14, Apple shows its own web search results and links directly to websites when users type queries from the home screen. The changes were noticed back in August, but the report claims they add to "growing evidence" that Apple is working to build a rival to Google search.
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.
The report highlights Apple's hiring two years ago of John Giannandrea, Google's former head of search, to improve artificial intelligence capabilities and improve Siri, and cites Apple's "frequent" job advertisements for search engineers as evidence pointing to Apple's search ambitions.

The report also points to increased activity from Applebot, Apple's web crawler, which has previously led to conjecture about how Apple could be planning to launch a full-fledged search engine, although Applebot chiefly operates to improve Siri and Spotlight search results.

Overall, the report adds little to what we already know, and is more reliant on industry speculation in light of the Justice Department's antitrust lawsuit filed against Google last week that claims the company used anticompetitive and exclusionary practices in the search and advertising markets to maintain an unlawful monopoly.

Apple receives an estimated eight to 12 billion dollars per year in exchange for making Google the default search engine on its devices and services. Prosecutors claim that the deal is representative of illegal tactics used to protect Google's monopoly and stifle competition. Meanwhile, Apple is under fire for facilitating anticompetitive behavior by acquiescing to the deal and extracting more money with regular renegotiations.

The legal intervention poses a threat to a significant chunk of Apple's revenue, but it is a bigger danger for Google, which would seemingly have no way to replace the traffic it would lose. The New York Times has previously speculated that a breakup could push Apple to acquire or build its own rival search engine, but as yet there's been no hard evidence of such a move.

Article Link: Report: Apple 'Stepping Up Efforts' to Develop Alternative to Google Search
 
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Kebabselector

macrumors 68030
May 25, 2007
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Maybe add a search engine selection screen on setup for a new device.
I've tried DuckDuckGo and Bing. For complex searches, Google is MILES ahead. So annoying that we can't just have the best as default.
It could be just one extra thing you'd have to select on the initial setup. Not really an issue is it?
 
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coredev

macrumors regular
Sep 26, 2012
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Rumors have been around for a long time.
Let's keep in mind here that using Google as a search engine is quite lucrative for Apple as it is.
Also Google is making money from the searches thru aggressive tracking and collection of private data, which Apple opposes.
So having their own search engine would lose a lot of money for Apple, and I think that's quite unlikely.
 
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rp2011

macrumors 68000
Oct 12, 2010
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About time. Even just as a public service.
It is scary and dangerous to cede such an important part of cumputing and modern life to basically just one company. Doing nothing would be alarming for such a company such as Apple. It NEEDS the technologies even just for their own products and services, much less as healthy competition to Google.
 
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dhruveonmars

macrumors regular
Nov 10, 2011
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UK
I've tried DuckDuckGo and Bing. For complex searches, Google is MILES ahead. So annoying that we can't just have the best as default.

It would likely just be a screen during setup which would take about 15 seconds to go through. Not bad considering a lot of people may opt out of Google as they prefer their privacy, or just have other preferences to yourself.
Best for you is not necessarily the best for someone else
 
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iapplelove

macrumors 601
Nov 22, 2011
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East Coast USA
About time. Even just as a public service.
It is scary and dangerous to cede such an important part of cumputing and modern life to basically just one company. Doing nothing would be alarming for such a company such as Apple. It NEEDS the technologies even just for their own products and services, much less as healthy competition to Google.

you will be back using google in no time.
 
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rp2011

macrumors 68000
Oct 12, 2010
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you will be back using google in no time.
I will absolutely continue to use Google, but it’s always good for consumers to have options.
Any time any one company has too much of a stronghold on an industry it inevitably becomes harmful for consumers and staves off innovation. This is especially important as for many people, it is the gateway to everything on the internet.
 
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bklement

macrumors regular
Oct 3, 2019
161
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Oh, so that's why it started to show in suggestions wikipedia pages in english (as before), but when clicking navigating to (sometimes inexistent) pages in my native language.

On a side note, I hate when websites want to guess my language by location, not by os/browser settings. This leads to getting pages in "gibberish" when using company proxy. If I am lucky I can recognize where I can switch language...
 
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Rojo

macrumors 65816
Sep 26, 2006
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Barcelona
I would absolutely LOVE if Apple came up with a great (private, reliable) search engine.

Unfortunately I feel like it will be like Maps (for which I still use Google Maps) or Translate (yep, I prefer Google’s again).

I really really want to get away from Google entirely. But I also want the best results from when I search for things. Here’s hoping Apple will eventually catch up and make their versions more effective...
 
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lostom

macrumors member
Nov 11, 2010
84
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I'm interested in members here opinion's on why it would be better for Apple to do this?

Google search is based on ad revenue, Apple is "supposedly privacy based", so therefore, why would Apple give up the revenue that Google pays them.

Seems like killing the golden goose.

I'm not smart enough to understand the complications, so I'm interested in others' thoughts.
 
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