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Apple may launch its own search engine to take on Google, reports suggest

Apple may be working on its own search engine to move away from Google which pays to be the default search engine on iOS devices.

twitter-logoYasmin Ahmed | August 29, 2020 | Updated 13:45 IST
(Source: Reuters)

Highlights

  • There are several indicators which suggest that Apple may be working towards its own search engine.
  • Apple is listing jobs in the fields of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) for experts.
  • Apple's own search engine is likely to be more personalised and without ads, as per reports.

Apple may bring out its own search engine to take on Google, as per reports. There are several signs that suggest the Cupertino, California-based company could be working towards its own search engine. These include the anti-competitive nature of Google, its regulatory concerns and job listings by Apple for AI experts and search engineers. Moreover, a report by Coywolf states that with iOS 14 beta and iPadOS 14 beta, Apple's Spotlight Search bypasses Google Search to show search results.

As per reports, Google has been paying Apple for several years to remain the default search engine on Safari for iOS, iPadOS, and macOS. The deal ensures that iPhone, iPad, and Mac users search with Google when they use Safari. This is unless users manually change the default search engine preferences. However, the deal is anti-competitive in nature, as per the UK Competition and Markets Authority and gives rise to regulatory concerns. As per the report, the regulators may force Apple to remove Google as the default search engine and have users choose which search engine they want to use when they first launch Safari.

Apple, which recently became the first publicly listed US company to reach a market value of $2 trillion is inviting experts in a residency programme to apply their expertise to build revolutionary machine learning and AI empowered products and experiences, a report by Infotech lead noted.

"As these intelligent experiences solve our users' problems across disciplines, the need for domain experts to understand machine learning grows. This is why the AI/ML residency programme aims to immerse these experts in the ML space," Apple said in a statement. "Apple's on-device machine learning enables intelligent experiences across our integrated hardware, software, and services," the company said in the job description.

Coywol's report speculates that Apple can leverage Artificial Intelligence (AI) AI and Machine Learning (ML) to deliver search results based on their email, messages, maps, events, reminders, notes, photos, files, contacts, music, news, TV shows and movies, third-party apps, documents, and more. And they can do it without ads and with the promise of real data privacy.

Moreover, Apple has updated its Applebot web crawler page to verify traffic, expanded details on the Applebot user agent and stated that they don't crawl HTML, but also render pages similar to Google. The report confirms that AppleBot has been regularly crawling sites.

If Apple does come with its own search engine, it is likely to serve a purpose different than showing ads and data mining. The report speculates that the potential Apple search engine will likely function as a highly personalised data hub. It will be a lot like Google Assistant on Android except that it will not have ads and will be completely private with significantly deeper integrations with the OS.

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