Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Apple Once Again Rumoured to Be Working on a Web Search Engine

Jon Henshaw (via MacRumors):

Regulatory pressure, a contentious relationship with Google, and the maturation of Apple’s Siri and iCloud are presenting an opportunity for Apple to create and launch a search engine. There are several signs right now that indicate Apple may be doing just that.

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Based on Apple’s numerous search engineer job descriptions, and the continued consolidation of web and app results in Spotlight Search, an Apple search engine will likely function as a highly personalized data hub. It will be similar to Google Assistant on Android, but different since it (initially) won’t have ads, will be completely private, and have significantly deeper integrations with the OS.

An Apple web search engine to rival Google has been rumoured for years: I found stories from 2018, 2015, 2010, and 2008. My instincts — and the multibillion-dollar contract it has with Google — tell me that I should add this to the trash heap of forgotten Apple rumours and call it a day.

After all, it isn’t like Apple doesn’t have a search engine — it does, but it is only accessible from its own products. Does it make sense for it to be more widely available on the web? Apple has been offering more web apps and services recently, so it feels more plausible. Add regulatory pressure on default search engines and it transforms this story, in my head, from unlikely to strong maybe.

Also — and this is a complete guess — it feels like a good opportunity for Apple to repurpose its siri.com domain, doesn’t it?