Apple has been trying for a long time to wean its users off of Google services, and if the latest rumor about Apple Search is true, then the iPhone maker is taking the final step in its Google cord-cutting efforts.
The source of this week’s rumor is the Cult of Mac, who has uncovered a job ad for “Apple Search” seeking a project manager to work on “a search platform supporting hundreds of millions of users” and “play a part in revolutionizing how people use their computers and mobile devices.”
Not really about competing with Google Search
A report from Aaron Souppouris at Engadget suggests that even if Apple is actually building a search engine, it’s almost certainly not a direct attack on Google. Applesearch.com will never seriously compete with Google, and Apple knows that.
It’s much more likely that the new Apple Search will be included in Siri, Safari and Spotlight; that is, places where most people won’t bother wading through the options to change their search engine.
Apple Search will enable independence from both Google and Microsoft
As a number of analysts have pointed out, Apple and Google are really engaged in a not-so-cold war, largely due to Apple deciding it wanted to make money from every possible aspect of smartphone use. Apple has been gradually reducing its reliance on Google for some time now, even taking unpopular steps such as removing Google Maps and YouTube as default iOS apps. Other changes have come through Siri, which taps services like Bing, Yahoo and Wikipedia for the data it needs rather than Google. Adding an Apple Search to Safari would be a logical continuation of its efforts to get way from Google services..
Apple Search is not just about leaving Google behind. As Soupporis notes: “We’ve already established that Apple is in a quite a Google-free place right now, but it’s not exactly standing on its own two feet. Its reliance on Microsoft’s Bing, in particular, may be daunting given Microsoft is a direct competitor in many areas. Apple Search would be a good way of breaking those ties.”