Apple Could Really Be Preparing Its Own Web Search Tool

By Bill Toulas / October 29, 2020

There are multiple sources and accumulating evidence pointing to Apple preparing its own internet search engine to use as default in iOS. That would replace Google Search, which is the number one internet destination right now, but it may be something that will benefit both tech giants. Apple would get the opportunity to tap onto user search data directly, and Google could hope to dodge the antitrust trouble that it’s facing right now by the U.S. Department of Justice.

The last time Apple attempted to replace a Google product on iOS was with the Maps, and that didn’t go too well initially. Gradually, Apple Maps got better and is now an interesting alternative to Google Maps, actually offering better integration on Apple’s devices and several unique features too. Creating a search engine for the web will definitely be equally, if not even more difficult, but it’ll be easier to mask its disadvantages against Google’s tool.

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Although nothing has been officially confirmed by Apple yet, there are some signs that the consumer tech firm is really going for it. First, the Applebot web crawler has ramped up its activities recently, indexing the web like crazy. Of course, there can be no size comparison with Google’s database, but there must be a reason for this happening now.

Secondly, Apple has been employing expert John Giannandrea since 2018, who was one of the people behind the creation of Google Search. Giannandrea is one of the very few engineers who could help Apple get something adequately good out there quickly.

iOS fans are already celebrating because they trust that Apple’s search engine would be far more private compared to Google’s. Also, there’s hope about curated results, and curation is at the epicenter of the iOS experience. Deeper integration with Siri is another aspect to look forward to if this Apple Search thing goes forward.

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Then there’s the quality and polishing, and Apple is a master of that. Privacy-respecting search engines like DuckDuckGo are still a choice for iOS users, but they miss that polishing aspect that this audience values so much.

For now, all of the above is nothing other than rumors based on signs and limited evidence. It would make perfect sense for Apple to move forward with a plan of launching its own search engine, but business doesn’t work with what seems logical.

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