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

ipponrg

macrumors 68020
Oct 15, 2008
2,031
1,682
What’s your preference of google maps over Apple Maps? I’ve heard other countries are still catching up but if you live in the US in my opinion it’s much better. I’ve used the new translate app too and I love it. The free form conversation mode that automatically knows which language is speaking is nice. Plus all-on-device translation, so privacy.
Apple Maps failed me the other day navigating from my apt to returning a car rental in Williamsburg, NY. Google Maps nailed it. I think people will have varied opinions, but Apple Maps has had a worse success rate for myself living in a major city.
 
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cupcakes2000

macrumors 6502a
Apr 13, 2010
943
875
You probably need to unplug from the world and do things the old fashion way via yellow pages, cash, horse carriages, and paper maps. What about your ISP, your credit card, the govt, your employer, travel agencies, satellites, VPN servers, your car's GPS, etc?

Do you somehow think there's no data captured there?
The statements regarding Google and user privacy are not a myth, they’re well grounded in fact. Bringing up other entities which track you for whatever reason does nothing to diminish the argument regarding how much google track you and know about you. Bringing up using a horse and cart, for example, shows that you have no true grasp on the situation, and would rather just not care about it. That’s fine, but other people are proactive in their methods for mitigating these issues.
 
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ss2cire

macrumors regular
Jun 18, 2008
105
78
Earth?
Apple should just acquire DuckDuckGo or partner with them. But as others have said, I think an option screen when setting up a device would be good too.
 
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quietstormSD

macrumors 65816
Mar 2, 2010
1,031
340
San Diego, CA
I'm not sure if Apple really wants to get into the search engine game. It'll be pretty hard to supplant Google. I know they want more revenue through services and ads through search would help with their revenue stream. But I don't think the search effectiveness will really be there.
 
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DocMultimedia

macrumors 6502a
Sep 8, 2012
781
1,711
Charlottesville, VA
If they could just have a search engine that could find some music I like in iTunes (aka Music) I'd be happy. And yeah, Apple makes a lot of money from Google. Don't jump ship if it will hurt the stock price. o_O
 
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btrach144

macrumors demi-god
Aug 28, 2015
2,005
4,597
Indiana
All Apple needs to do is not accept bribe money and give users a prompt when setting up a new phone as to what search engine they want.
 
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nt5672

macrumors 68020
Jun 30, 2007
2,130
4,558
As much as I dislike Google's loose morals, I'm not sure Apple's nanny rules will be much better.

What we need is an independent, free speech, search engine with child safety rules available, but not mandatory.
 
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cupcakes2000

macrumors 6502a
Apr 13, 2010
943
875
As much as I dislike Google's loose morals, I'm not sure Apple's nanny rules will be much better.

What we need is an independent, free speech, search engine with child safety rules available, but not mandatory.
Well ddg is this. It does depend on what you mean by ‘child safety’ or whether you mean free speech or speech which borders on hate speech.
You can use tor and ddg there if the clear web doesn’t offer whatever it is you’re looking for.
 
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Darth Tulhu

macrumors 6502a
Apr 10, 2019
884
1,332
Apple brings in billions of dollars in profits a year; they should be able to focus on both things at once
That is true.

But as the saying goes, "he who can be trusted with little can be trusted with much, and he who cannot be trusted with little cannot be trusted at all".

I concede this is an extreme example, but given Apple already has Siri many devices, it seems silly to me that they'll divert/split efforts to get browser-based search at the level it should be when Siri... well... sucks still.
 
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iPlaid

macrumors member
Sep 12, 2010
68
70
Privacy: some low hanging fruit...

1. Don't use Google hardware or OS -- choose Apple
2. Don't use Google Chrome browser -- use Safari, Firefox, Opera
3. Don't use Google Search -- choose DuckDuckGo
4. Don't use GMail for important mail -- use iCloud
5. Avoid using other Google cloud apps
6. Avoid using Google Mac/iOS apps
7. Don't let Google or social media apps access Location Services
8. Avoid revealing your real name/location on the internet
9. Make up an internet birthday close to yours and stick with it.
10 Don't use Facebook or any of its products, period.
 
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cupcakes2000

macrumors 6502a
Apr 13, 2010
943
875
Privacy: some low hanging fruit...

1. Don't use Google hardware or OS -- choose Apple
2. Don't use Google Chrome browser -- use Safari, Firefox, Opera
3. Don't use Google Search -- choose DuckDuckGo
4. Don't use GMail for important mail -- use iCloud
5. Avoid using other Google cloud apps
6. Avoid using Google Mac/iOS apps
7. Don't let Google or social media apps access Location Services
8. Avoid revealing your real name/location on the internet
9. Make up an internet birthday close to yours and stick with it.
10 Don't use Facebook or any of its products, period.
Good points all, with a few changes.

2/ strike opera from that list, terrible name in privacy circles nowadays, regardless of their previous standing. Tor, hardened Firefox (research first though) and safari are the ones you want. Fingerprinting is what you want to avoid, and all of these services strive to make you the same as any other user online, without giving you too many unique identifiers.


3/start page is a good one too.

4/use a service that encrypts your inbox. iCloud doesn’t do this at rest. Choose protonmail or tutanota or something. The e2e encryption they offer is a bonus, but hard to implement with all your contact. The encrypted inbox however- crucial to guarantee avoiding 3rd party snooping for ads or anything else. Use multiple unique non identifying email addresses for each category of interest, social media, banking, gaming, health etc

6/ I use multiple browsers, one for each category (social networking, health related searches, banking etc) to prevent tracking, rather than apps, when I can.

11/ use a password manager. A keepass derivative preferably open source. Strongbox is my choice here.
 
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Meatwad

macrumors newbie
Sep 23, 2005
25
4
A long time ago in a galaxy far far away I worked at the startup that JG (as he's called) was at that was acquired by Google. It was a "semantic web" startup. Looking at what he's talked about about AI I really do think his focus at Apple is Siri.

It's not that search is a hard problem it's that it's become a very expensive one. If you want to compete with Google you need to be able to do what Google is able to do - crawl the ENTIRE web in almost real time, index it very fast, and then push those search results in a "compiled" form out to the edge of the network.

Google's real trick is that it's an infrastructure company. It's believe that the bandwidth of the "internal" Google network (the one that connects their datacenters) is larger than that of the entire "regular" Internet. They've build the world's largest supercomputer (it's not even close) and they use a lot of it for search. So if you want to beat them then you kinda need to duplicate THAT first.
 
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Hero2050

macrumors newbie
Jun 10, 2020
15
6
very interesting and exciting. i wouldn't mind seeing someone challenge Google search. i've tried Duckduckgo + Bing and they are decent but nowhere near Google. if anyone can topple Google it'll be Apple.

surprised they haven't done this sooner tbh. they probably hate having to give away $8b to google all the time. make your own search engine. throw $8 billion at it and if it works then won't need to give google it.
Google pays Apple.
 
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ipponrg

macrumors 68020
Oct 15, 2008
2,031
1,682
Privacy: some low hanging fruit...

1. Don't use Google hardware or OS -- choose Apple
2. Don't use Google Chrome browser -- use Safari, Firefox, Opera
3. Don't use Google Search -- choose DuckDuckGo
4. Don't use GMail for important mail -- use iCloud
5. Avoid using other Google cloud apps
6. Avoid using Google Mac/iOS apps
7. Don't let Google or social media apps access Location Services
8. Avoid revealing your real name/location on the internet
9. Make up an internet birthday close to yours and stick with it.
10 Don't use Facebook or any of its products, period.

You forgot one.

11. Stay offline if you truly believe in privacy 😉
 
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MacBH928

Contributor
May 17, 2008
4,826
1,856
knowing Apple, this will be an awkwardly implemented feature like Apple's Ping social network that existed inside of iTunes. It won't make people stop using Google.

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.

not really, I am happily using DDG. When I am not happy with the results, I go to Google and their results are not any better. The only area where Google is better is when you try to find something very specific and local, like the name of the coffee shop behind your work office.

Google is able to do this because of privacy invasion and data hoarding by collecting data and storing it from all sources like Wifi spots, people searches, map locations, Google assistant voice recordings...etc etc. This is a negative, not a positive, unless you are happy that Google has a cam on you recording 24/7.
 
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Jazz Baby

macrumors newbie
Feb 8, 2017
7
14
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...
So another person's language is gibberish? How's the fit on that Chinese made MAGA hat?
and we call it...."Search"
Don't you mean "iSearch"?
 
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planteater

macrumors regular
Feb 11, 2020
204
229
I think people should stop referring to Google as a "Search Engine" and call it for what it is, a personal data harvesting and analytics corporation.
You hit the nail on the head, and I've said as much before.

If one looks at the Alphabet product portfolio, there has been a clear pattern of creation or purchase of products to fill gaps in data collection.

I noticed this around 2006. Each successive product from Google gave them increasing visibility to internet traffic. There are far too many to list, but they primarily are in the categories of search, analytics, advertising, browser, and authentication. Even browsers like Firefox use Google's Safe Browsing by default, sending all URL's to Google. It goes on and on.

Their reach into the average persons browsing, regardless if they use Google apps or not, is staggering.
 
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