Apple may launch its own web-based search engine

Posted:
in General Discussion edited August 2020
A new report claims that factors are increasingly pointing to Apple expanding Siri search results and Spotlight Searches even farther, with the company potentially working on a universal search engine.

Apple's Siri, responding to invocation
Apple's Siri, responding to invocation


Apple already has a search engine it uses for Spotlight Searches and Siri. However, if a new report is accurate, Apple may be looking to ditch the financial arrangement it has for Google to be the default on the iPhone, and launch its own full search engine.

The main tentpole to the argument made on Thursday morning by Jon Henshaw at Coywolf says that it isn't clear if Siri Suggestions are using Google at all anymore. Instead, Apple is returning search results with Spotlight Search, and is bypassing other search engines.

In AppleInsider's own brief tests on Thursday morning, some outgoing and return traffic to and from Google for Siri Suggestions in iOS 14 passed through our router. The same search terms in iOS 13 pulled nearly entirely from Google.

The report goes on to say that Apple is investing heavily on search, and pointing to job postings for search engineers. However, the number of available jobs in related fields has decreased in the last year, versus increased. This may be a factor of coronavirus limitations more than anything else, making a year-over-year comparison difficult.

An update to the "Applebot" web crawler page for web developers was made in June as well. Henshaw notes that the changes included how to verify traffic was actually coming from Applebot, and the company provided details about differences in the crawler between desktop- and mobile-centric searches. The update also made clear that the crawler renders ages similarly to Google, and a section about search rankings was amplified upon. At present, the information Apple has promulgated about the crawler is very similar, if not identical, to how Google scans pages.

Henshaw also notes that the AppleBot web crawler has been busy, with him noticing it just recently. A quick perusal of AppleInsider crawler traffic has shown no notable increase or decrease in Applebot crawler traffic since 2015, following a slow launch in the fall of 2014.

However, despite some evidence that suggests that there is not an increase in factors that suggest an imminent launch, a full Apple search engine available to all makes some sense. Henshaw says that Apple's engine would weaken Google's stranglehold on search, provide better promotion for Apple services, tighten Apple's control of the full hardware and software stack, and allow developers to promote apps in larger search results beyond just App Store searches.

A big factor against Apple developing its own full search engine include the loss of the billions of dollars per year that Google pays Apple for the privilege. Additionally, it may draw some additional antitrust attention from regulators if it does so, in a time where the investigations and testimony demands are at an all-time high.

Henshaw does note that the product may never come to market.

"At this point, everything is based on observation and conjecture. They may never release a search engine. It's also possible that iOS, iPadOS, and macOS users will be using it and not even be aware of it," writes Henshaw. "It could be so tightly integrated into the operating system and native apps that alerts and Spotlight Searches slowly steal away queries that would have otherwise been made on Google."
«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 37
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,827member
    Interestingly enough, another article had a different take: that with the UK Regulators looking closely at the arrangement between Apple and Google, Apple may have decided that it wasn’t worth carrying on with. 

    Sounds interesting though. I reckon Google would cough up another few billion to stop it from happening, enough to help with the costs of running the App Store …
    qwerty52Beatsjony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 37
    entropysentropys Posts: 3,009member
    Articles like this make me think it is contract renegotiation time between Apple and google.

    and google ain’t the leaker.
    muthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 37
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 2,404member
    If Apple does introduce a web portal for users to search with, I’m confident it will be SIRI.COM because they already own that domain and when I go there it seems to be a site just waiting for a purpose. 
    Beatswatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 37
    Indeed very interesting. Although I don’t use Google as a search engine, it will be very nice if Apple comes with something
    like an AppleSearch. I think many of us are waiting for.
    Dogpersonrepressthiswatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 37
    techconctechconc Posts: 157member
    Beyond the technology in this proposition, I have to wonder about the business model.  Apple is apparently receiving billions of dollars from Google to use their search engine by default.  Why would Apple want to stop that revenue stream?  Further, does Apple really want to get into the advertising business?  One of the reasons we trust Apple today is precisely because their business model doesn't depend on them harvesting our information to monetize with advertisers as Google does.   The alternative is to have an unpaid service like Maps, but not only would that cost money to run such a service, but Apple would be losing revenue from Google in the process.  None of this makes much sense to me from a business model perspective. 
    dysamoriatokyojimuPascalxxrepressthiswatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 37
    It makes sense from a defensive perspective. If Google were to ever pull search from Apple, Apple would have a way to continue without Google, with no downtime.
    patchythepirateBeatswatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 37
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,522member
    Apple search engine default on IOS ? American politicians will launch anti-trust against Apple. They know how to screw American companies.
    patchythepirateBeatswatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 37
    techconc said:
    Beyond the technology in this proposition, I have to wonder about the business model.  Apple is apparently receiving billions of dollars from Google to use their search engine by default.  Why would Apple want to stop that revenue stream?  Further, does Apple really want to get into the advertising business?  One of the reasons we trust Apple today is precisely because their business model doesn't depend on them harvesting our information to monetize with advertisers as Google does.   The alternative is to have an unpaid service like Maps, but not only would that cost money to run such a service, but Apple would be losing revenue from Google in the process.  None of this makes much sense to me from a business model perspective. 
    I suspect if they did get into web based search their advertising model would look similar to how it does on the App Store, where they are already in the advertising business. 

    In other words, no information harvesting, just classic paid-for sponsored search terms. Similar in many ways to DuckDuckGo's model, which has proven well for them. 

    It will indeed be interesting to see if Apple is prepared to drop the significant payment they receive from Google though. A test of their privacy focused values vs. lucrative revenue streams...
    patchythepiratePascalxxrepressthiswatto_cobraFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 9 of 37
    johnbearjohnbear Posts: 160member
    :(   That’s just extra work in setting up the iOS devices: disable Apple search, and enable google 
    Beats
  • Reply 10 of 37
    I hope they do not use an ad-supported model.
    Maybe they introduce a ‘paid search model’ —or, free for Apple's devices—.
    I do not want to see the ‘first page full of ads Google's style’!
    Also, I would like to see a more ‘focussed’ searches and some king of ‘improve search,’ something like giving you ‘options’ to further search down and not a bunch of paid links.

    Why couldn't I dream?

    As for the Google payment, it was done before with Maps. If Apple considers worthwhile to have its own search engine… it will drop the money.
    See also that Maps is dropping Yelp and others to have evaluations and photos.

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 37
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    (Insert eyeroll emoji here)
  • Reply 12 of 37
    mobirdmobird Posts: 579member
    Pull the trigger and make the acquisition - Duckduckgo.com.
    Dogpersonjony0Pascalxxrepressthiswatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 37
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 3,396member
    mobird said:
    Pull the trigger and make the acquisition - Duckduckgo.com.
    I use DDG. Their search content actually comes from Yahoo/Bing (can’t remember which). It’s also starting to get more cluttered, just like every dogdamned search engine always has over time.
  • Reply 14 of 37
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 3,396member
    Apple continues to think they can do everything and anything. They don’t have a core competency anymore. When you try to do EVERYTHING, you end up doing everything poorly. I’m still waiting for that vast amount of money Apple has to get them back to proper Q/A testing...
    davgregtokyojimu
  • Reply 15 of 37
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,827member
    dysamoria said:
    Apple continues to think they can do everything and anything. They don’t have a core competency anymore. When you try to do EVERYTHING, you end up doing everything poorly. I’m still waiting for that vast amount of money Apple has to get them back to proper Q/A testing...
    Want some cheese with that?
    larryjwBeatsfastasleepStrangeDaysjony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 37
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,827member

    techconc said:
    Beyond the technology in this proposition, I have to wonder about the business model.  Apple is apparently receiving billions of dollars from Google to use their search engine by default.  Why would Apple want to stop that revenue stream?  Further, does Apple really want to get into the advertising business?  One of the reasons we trust Apple today is precisely because their business model doesn't depend on them harvesting our information to monetize with advertisers as Google does.   The alternative is to have an unpaid service like Maps, but not only would that cost money to run such a service, but Apple would be losing revenue from Google in the process.  None of this makes much sense to me from a business model perspective. 
    Well that’s just it. They don’t like targeted advertising, so how will this make them any money?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 37
    davgregdavgreg Posts: 838member
    Judging by the (still) sorry state of Apple Maps, no thanks.
    urahara
  • Reply 18 of 37
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,014member
    mr lizard said:
    techconc said:
    Beyond the technology in this proposition, I have to wonder about the business model.  Apple is apparently receiving billions of dollars from Google to use their search engine by default.  Why would Apple want to stop that revenue stream?  Further, does Apple really want to get into the advertising business?  One of the reasons we trust Apple today is precisely because their business model doesn't depend on them harvesting our information to monetize with advertisers as Google does.   The alternative is to have an unpaid service like Maps, but not only would that cost money to run such a service, but Apple would be losing revenue from Google in the process.  None of this makes much sense to me from a business model perspective. 
    I suspect if they did get into web based search their advertising model would look similar to how it does on the App Store, where they are already in the advertising business. 

    In other words, no information harvesting, just classic paid-for sponsored search terms. Similar in many ways to DuckDuckGo's model, which has proven well for them. 

    It will indeed be interesting to see if Apple is prepared to drop the significant payment they receive from Google though. A test of their privacy focused values vs. lucrative revenue streams...
    You might look at how Apple uses you as a customer for targeted advertising. Your data has a play in it. It's more like Google than DDG.
    Apple like Google exposes no identifiable user data to the advertisers, private information is never shared, customers are relegated to an advertising ID number and not a name or number or email address, and "targets" are aggregated groups with similar preferences and/or demographics rather than an individual person. 

    From Apple themselves:

    On the App Store, Apple News, and Stocks, we may use information such as the following to assign you to segments:

    • Account Information: Your name, address, age, and devices registered to your account. Information such as your first name in your Apple ID registration page, or salutation in your iTunes Account may be used to derive your gender.
    • Downloads & Activity: The music, movies, books, TV shows, and apps you download as well as any in-app purchases.
    • Activities in Other Apps: App developers, subject to their own privacy policies and applicable laws, may provide information regarding your in-app purchases and activities such as game level completion.
    • Advertising: Your interaction with advertising delivered by Apple’s advertising platform.
    • Other Segments: For specific advertising campaigns, advertisers may match information they have about their users with Apple’s information to create segments, which must contain at least 5,000 people. Advertisers can use an Advertising Identifier, or other information they have about users, such as a phone number or email, to match users to segments on Apple’s advertising platform. During the match process, these identifiers are obscured to limit personally identifiable information being disclosed. To choose which segments they match users to, Advertisers may use information they have from interactions with users. This information is acquired and used subject to the Advertisers’ own privacy policies.

    When selecting which ad to display from multiple ads for which you are eligible, we may use some of the above mentioned information, as well as your App Store browsing activity, to determine which ad is likely to be most relevant to you. App Store browsing activity includes the content and apps you tap and view while browsing the App Store. This information is aggregated across users so that it does not identify you.


    So I would certainly expect that if Apple chooses to broaden their scope and offer a search engine of their own that it will be monetized thru ads very similar (tho not the same) to the way Google does. With that said, I don't personally see the logic in Apple doing so. Any business at the end of the day is in it for the money. Unless Apple thinks it will give them more profits than the $B's Google gives them it doesn't make business sense. 

    edited August 2020 jony0Pascalxx
  • Reply 19 of 37
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,827member
    gatorguy said:
    mr lizard said:
    techconc said:
    Beyond the technology in this proposition, I have to wonder about the business model.  Apple is apparently receiving billions of dollars from Google to use their search engine by default.  Why would Apple want to stop that revenue stream?  Further, does Apple really want to get into the advertising business?  One of the reasons we trust Apple today is precisely because their business model doesn't depend on them harvesting our information to monetize with advertisers as Google does.   The alternative is to have an unpaid service like Maps, but not only would that cost money to run such a service, but Apple would be losing revenue from Google in the process.  None of this makes much sense to me from a business model perspective. 
    I suspect if they did get into web based search their advertising model would look similar to how it does on the App Store, where they are already in the advertising business. 

    In other words, no information harvesting, just classic paid-for sponsored search terms. Similar in many ways to DuckDuckGo's model, which has proven well for them. 

    It will indeed be interesting to see if Apple is prepared to drop the significant payment they receive from Google though. A test of their privacy focused values vs. lucrative revenue streams...
    You might look at how Apple uses you as a customer for targeted advertising. Your data has a play in it. It's more like Google than DDG.
    Apple like Google exposes no identifiable user data to the advertisers, private information is never shared, customers are relegated to an advertising ID number and not a name or number or email address, and "targets" are aggregated groups with similar preferences and/or demographics rather than an individual person. 

    From Apple themselves:

    On the App Store, Apple News, and Stocks, we may use information such as the following to assign you to segments:

    • Account Information: Your name, address, age, and devices registered to your account. Information such as your first name in your Apple ID registration page, or salutation in your iTunes Account may be used to derive your gender.
    • Downloads & Activity: The music, movies, books, TV shows, and apps you download as well as any in-app purchases.
    • Activities in Other Apps: App developers, subject to their own privacy policies and applicable laws, may provide information regarding your in-app purchases and activities such as game level completion.
    • Advertising: Your interaction with advertising delivered by Apple’s advertising platform.
    • Other Segments: For specific advertising campaigns, advertisers may match information they have about their users with Apple’s information to create segments, which must contain at least 5,000 people. Advertisers can use an Advertising Identifier, or other information they have about users, such as a phone number or email, to match users to segments on Apple’s advertising platform. During the match process, these identifiers are obscured to limit personally identifiable information being disclosed. To choose which segments they match users to, Advertisers may use information they have from interactions with users. This information is acquired and used subject to the Advertisers’ own privacy policies.

    When selecting which ad to display from multiple ads for which you are eligible, we may use some of the above mentioned information, as well as your App Store browsing activity, to determine which ad is likely to be most relevant to you. App Store browsing activity includes the content and apps you tap and view while browsing the App Store. This information is aggregated across users so that it does not identify you.


    So I would certainly expect that if Apple chooses to broaden their scope and offer a search engine of their own that it will be monetized thru ads very similar (tho not the same) to the way Google does. With that said, I don't personally see the logic in Apple doing so. Any business at the end of the day is in it for the money. Unless Apple thinks it will give them more profits than the $B's Google gives them it doesn't make business sense. 

    Well, at least they didn’t grab the data from your browser when you asked them not to. 
    Or swipe it in a drive by. 

    Now who would do such a thing. 🤔

    BeatsbestkeptsecretStrangeDaysjony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 37
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,014member
    Rayz2016 said:
    gatorguy said:
    mr lizard said:
    techconc said:
    Beyond the technology in this proposition, I have to wonder about the business model.  Apple is apparently receiving billions of dollars from Google to use their search engine by default.  Why would Apple want to stop that revenue stream?  Further, does Apple really want to get into the advertising business?  One of the reasons we trust Apple today is precisely because their business model doesn't depend on them harvesting our information to monetize with advertisers as Google does.   The alternative is to have an unpaid service like Maps, but not only would that cost money to run such a service, but Apple would be losing revenue from Google in the process.  None of this makes much sense to me from a business model perspective. 
    I suspect if they did get into web based search their advertising model would look similar to how it does on the App Store, where they are already in the advertising business. 

    In other words, no information harvesting, just classic paid-for sponsored search terms. Similar in many ways to DuckDuckGo's model, which has proven well for them. 

    It will indeed be interesting to see if Apple is prepared to drop the significant payment they receive from Google though. A test of their privacy focused values vs. lucrative revenue streams...
    You might look at how Apple uses you as a customer for targeted advertising. Your data has a play in it. It's more like Google than DDG.
    Apple like Google exposes no identifiable user data to the advertisers, private information is never shared, customers are relegated to an advertising ID number and not a name or number or email address, and "targets" are aggregated groups with similar preferences and/or demographics rather than an individual person. 

    From Apple themselves:

    On the App Store, Apple News, and Stocks, we may use information such as the following to assign you to segments:

    • Account Information: Your name, address, age, and devices registered to your account. Information such as your first name in your Apple ID registration page, or salutation in your iTunes Account may be used to derive your gender.
    • Downloads & Activity: The music, movies, books, TV shows, and apps you download as well as any in-app purchases.
    • Activities in Other Apps: App developers, subject to their own privacy policies and applicable laws, may provide information regarding your in-app purchases and activities such as game level completion.
    • Advertising: Your interaction with advertising delivered by Apple’s advertising platform.
    • Other Segments: For specific advertising campaigns, advertisers may match information they have about their users with Apple’s information to create segments, which must contain at least 5,000 people. Advertisers can use an Advertising Identifier, or other information they have about users, such as a phone number or email, to match users to segments on Apple’s advertising platform. During the match process, these identifiers are obscured to limit personally identifiable information being disclosed. To choose which segments they match users to, Advertisers may use information they have from interactions with users. This information is acquired and used subject to the Advertisers’ own privacy policies.

    When selecting which ad to display from multiple ads for which you are eligible, we may use some of the above mentioned information, as well as your App Store browsing activity, to determine which ad is likely to be most relevant to you. App Store browsing activity includes the content and apps you tap and view while browsing the App Store. This information is aggregated across users so that it does not identify you.


    So I would certainly expect that if Apple chooses to broaden their scope and offer a search engine of their own that it will be monetized thru ads very similar (tho not the same) to the way Google does. With that said, I don't personally see the logic in Apple doing so. Any business at the end of the day is in it for the money. Unless Apple thinks it will give them more profits than the $B's Google gives them it doesn't make business sense. 

    Well, at least they didn’t grab the data from your browser when you asked them not to. 
    Or swipe it in a drive by. 

    Now who would do such a thing. ߤ䦬t;br>
    About 10 years ago (gosh time flies by) Google collected a few wi-fi snippets in Germany without permission or disclosure, then likely fibbed about it being a "mistake". Bad Google.

    On your other question I have no idea who grabbed browser data without permission. I think you might mistakenly be referring to "Incognito mode" on Chrome (essentially the same as Private Mode in Safari), but if not you'll have to be more specific. Who?
    edited August 2020
Sign In or Register to comment.