Apple has long been rumored to be working on its own search engine, though there have not been any concrete leaks or proofs about this. A new Financial Times report, however, claims that Apple has greatly stepped up efforts to create its own search engine.
The move comes as the U.S. antitrust authorities are looking into the multi-billion dollar deal between Google and Apple. Google pays Apple billions of dollars every year to keep Google as the default search engine in Safari. Apple’s initiative picked up pace after the U.S. Justice Department filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google for its anticompetitive behavior and how it pays other tech companies billions of dollars every year to keep Google as the default search option on their devices which puts other smaller rivals at a disadvantage.
One little change that Apple has introduced in iOS 14 is that it is directly linking to websites for searches done through Spotlight on the home screen.
That internet search functionality marks an necessary advance in Apple’s in-house improvement and will kind the inspiration of a fuller assault on Google, in accordance with a number of individuals within the trade.
The report also highlights how Apple hired John Giannandrea a couple of years ago who was previously the head of Search at Google. His job primarily involves improving AI and Siri, though he could be secretly working on a search engine inside the company as well. There has also been an increase in activity from Apple’s web crawler, Applebot, though it is primarily used by the company for improving and collecting data for Siri.
The report does not share any real evidence to indeed confirm that Apple is working on a search engine of its own. It is entirely possible that Apple is working on improving Siri and its own search features across iOS and macOS rather than working on a Google Search-competitor.[Via Financial Times]