Apple could be tailoring its own search engine wrapper

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Apple is unhappy with the search experience on its mobile products and may be looking to develop a more approachable interface that could be grafted on top of existing technologies like Google search, according to a published report.



High-tech blog TechCrunch claims to have picked up hints from multiple people "that Apple is working on a search engine of some sort." However, the publication almost immediately discounts the notion, citing little evidence to back up the claim.



"If Apple were building a search engine, they?d be hiring search experts and engineers," the report states. "We?ve talked to a ton of them at all the big companies, and while some of them heard the same rumors, none have lost search employees to Apple, or heard of any specific hirings."



Therefore, speculation is that the rumor, which is believed to "have a nugget of truth" to it, more likely pertains to plans on the part of the iPhone maker to build "a radically different user experience which is much more visual" than today's search engines.



Presumptions are that the actual data search would still be performed by existing search engines, such as those belonging to Google, with the results presented more appropriately for Apple's growing array of mobile devices.



TechCrunch promises more information as it becomes available.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 19
    Or it could be they're finally developing a Spotlight-like global search for the iPhone and Touch? Could be visual. Could include web searching...
  • Reply 2 of 19
    Bleh.
  • Reply 3 of 19
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 1,793member
    Google's search results are awful; too tiny to read and not formatted for the small screen. You have to zoom in and pan around to read the results. However, hasn't anyone used Yahoo! search on their iPhone? It is optimized for the iPhone (mobiles) and looks so much better than Google.



    Just go to Settings -> Safari -> Search Engine, then select Yahoo!



    Michael
  • Reply 4 of 19
    Or you could just use Informant from the App Store. Does the same thing.
  • Reply 5 of 19
    jfanningjfanning Posts: 3,384member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mjtomlin View Post


    Google's search results are awful; too tiny to read and not formatted for the small screen. You have to zoom in and pan around to read the results. However, hasn't anyone used Yahoo! search on their iPhone? It is optimized for the iPhone (mobiles) and looks so much better than Google.



    But Apple says it is the real internet on the iPhone, not the cut down mobile version, either you or Apple are wrong, which one is it?
  • Reply 6 of 19
    This is a very interesting move for Apple to make. However, we really need a more visual interface for search engines. Too much text literally overwhelms the average user. It would be great is if Apple could intelligently filter out content based on more than just text. Some of the results on Google are just plain weird and sloppy.



    Apple should totally hire experts for this though or it could end up like MobileMe when it came out.
  • Reply 7 of 19
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jfanning View Post


    But Apple says it is the real internet on the iPhone, not the cut down mobile version, either you or Apple are wrong, which one is it?



    Could you explain why you think they are they exclusive of each other? The iPhone's Safari can do the real internet, unlike other phones that only show a greatly minimized text version. But that doesn't mean that the iPhone's display size doesn't make iPhone optimized sites easier to read. Don't confuse an iPhone optimized site based on a small display to mean that your "interneting" is any less "internety"? As phone browsers get more robust and versatile with better HW to run on and newer web standards in place, we'll see a lot of these devices using these "iPhone Optimized" sites because of the small screen, not just the iPhone. Will we then change the name to "Mobile Optimized" to account for this or keep it is, just as iPod has become a generic term to mean any digital PMP.



    As for Flash being part of the real internet, it most certainly is, as are all browser plugins, but does the exclusion of a plugin mean that you aren't getting the full internet experience? If say yes, then we have to include every and all plugins or redefine the term to specifically mean certain plugins that meet particular criteria.
  • Reply 8 of 19
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jfanning View Post


    But Apple says it is the real internet on the iPhone, not the cut down mobile version, either you or Apple are wrong, which one is it?



    The iPhone will show both - mobile versions AND full versions of web pages. Take your pick.
  • Reply 9 of 19
    g3prog3pro Posts: 669member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mjtomlin View Post


    Google's search results are awful; too tiny to read and not formatted for the small screen. You have to zoom in and pan around to read the results. However, hasn't anyone used Yahoo! search on their iPhone? It is optimized for the iPhone (mobiles) and looks so much better than Google.



    Just go to Settings -> Safari -> Search Engine, then select Yahoo!



    Michael





    Are you kidding me?



    What you said is utterly retarded.
  • Reply 10 of 19
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by g3pro View Post


    Are you kidding me?



    What you said is utterly retarded.



    Apparently that only works by going to m.google.com. Most folks use the magnifying glass icon to perform a search
  • Reply 11 of 19
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by g3pro View Post


    Are you kidding me?



    What you said is utterly retarded.



    Actually what he said isn't retarded...when you use the google search that is built into the safari browser, it uses the main google "real" page...and when you just visit google in safari...it goes to the optimized page



    so...the question woul dbe...is there a way to make the search bar poin to the mobile page?...that would be much quicker than having to go to the google home page first every time
  • Reply 12 of 19
    g3prog3pro Posts: 669member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Galley View Post


    Apparently that only works by going to m.google.com. Most folks use the magnifying glass icon to perform a search



    It might be useful to make a bookmark on the homescreen that points to google.com then. Kind of a hassle, but it's better than using the "real-web-browsing" version through the search bar.
  • Reply 13 of 19
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by potterhead4 View Post


    Or it could be they're finally developing a Spotlight-like global search for the iPhone and Touch? Could be visual. Could include web searching...



    I remember reading a somewhere that Sherlock or Spotlight would also have an option of searching the web. The author must have been speculating, but it is possible that apple would include that option in the future. As personal hard drives get bigger as does the internet, it is to be expected that operating systems search facilities will have to become more sophisticated and efficient. As for not hiring engineers, their 'spotlight' developers wouldn't be to highly challenged to tap into a major database such as google or yahoo.
  • Reply 14 of 19
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post


    Bleh.



    I agree.
  • Reply 15 of 19
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 1,793member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jfanning


    But Apple says it is the real internet on the iPhone, not the cut down mobile version, either you or Apple are wrong, which one is it?



    It is the real internet and shows the entire page, the problem is, as I said before, the text is small (just as on any other page) and you have to zoom in to read it. This is normal for most pages.



    However Yahoo! went one step further and optimized the output for the iPhone if it detects the mobile safari browser. This is pretty much what the article is referring to and why I pointed it out.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by g3pro View Post


    Are you kidding me?



    What you said is utterly retarded.



    Umm, and you obviously don't understand what I'm talking about? The fact is, when I type something in mobile Safari's search box when Google is selected as my search engine, it DOES NOT bring up the mobile version, it brings up the desktop search results page. In order to get the mobile version, I have to visit the Google site and log in and then perform searches from within the browser.



    I know Google has a mobile optimized site, I sometimes use it for GMail.
  • Reply 16 of 19
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by g3pro View Post


    It might be useful to make a bookmark on the homescreen that points to google.com then. Kind of a hassle, but it's better than using the "real-web-browsing" version through the search bar.



    Brilliant g3pro....I came to the same conclusion. I rarely did searches on my iPhone (mainly using the data plan for emails). But made m.google.com a button on my homepage and the searches look a lot better! Regards.
  • Reply 17 of 19
    Hmm. So the return of Sherlock. Might be interesting.



    http://www.appleinsider.com/articles...functions.html



    Might be related to the Quicklook mechanism for web pages previously reported here.
  • Reply 18 of 19
    jfanningjfanning Posts: 3,384member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    Could you explain why you think they are they exclusive of each other? The iPhone's Safari can do the real internet, unlike other phones that only show a greatly minimized text version. But that doesn't mean that the iPhone's display size doesn't make iPhone optimized sites easier to read. Don't confuse an iPhone optimized site based on a small display to mean that your "interneting" is any less "internety"? As phone browsers get more robust and versatile with better HW to run on and newer web standards in place, we'll see a lot of these devices using these "iPhone Optimized" sites because of the small screen, not just the iPhone. Will we then change the name to "Mobile Optimized" to account for this or keep it is, just as iPod has become a generic term to mean any digital PMP.



    Which phones only display a text based version of a page? My Nokia will display the full web page. Steve made a point of saying that the iPhone will display the standard page and that a cut down version was needed. What is the point of being able to display the normal page if you can't read it?





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    As for Flash being part of the real internet, it most certainly is, as are all browser plugins, but does the exclusion of a plugin mean that you aren't getting the full internet experience? If say yes, then we have to include every and all plugins or redefine the term to specifically mean certain plugins that meet particular criteria.



    Why did you bring this up?
  • Reply 19 of 19
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jfanning View Post


    What is the point of being able to display the normal page if you can't read it?



    It's a 3.5" 480x320 display , of course it's tiny if it's showing you text design for 13"+ 800x600+ displays. If there was no way to manually zoom the text easily or the very simple double tap to intelligently zoom to an imagine or segment of the page, then you'd have a point about it being too difficult. I'm not sure what exactly your complaint is. Is that the iPhone is constrained to a physical world where a 3.5: display is actually 3.5 or that the iPhone has options in letting you view normal webpages along with optimized pages for MIDs?



    Quote:

    Why did you bring this up?



    You mention Jobs claim of "the real internet", which usually leads into Flash being a required part of the real internet.
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