Apple once again hinted to launch Google Search alternative

Ruben Fields
October 29, 2020

A new report from the Financial Times has reiterated that Apple is working on its own search engine and that there are signs of the change already in iOS 14.

Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) is advancing the development of its own search engine technology as Google, owned by Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), faces pressure from USA antitrust regulators over payments previously made to secure the dominance of its own search engine on iPhone devices.

In a little-noticed change to the latest version of the iPhone operating system, iOS 14, Apple has begun to show its own search results and link directly to websites when users type queries from its home screen.

These include "autocomplete"-style suggestions, showing that Apple seeks to learn from its user base of one billion on what their most asked queries are".

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An in-house search offering from Apple would provide the company with an alternative to Google search should authorities decide to block the partnership.

The report also points to increased activity from Applebot, Apple's web crawler, which has previously led to conjecture about how Apple could be planning to launch a full-fledged search engine, although Applebot chiefly operates to improve ‌Siri‌ and Spotlight search results.

The action comes after regulators scrutinized the multibillion-dollar payments that Google makes each year to ensure that its search engine is installed as a default search tool in devices from several hardware sellers. And a few days ago, The New York Times reported that the Justice Department has filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google, with prosecutors saying that the search giant is using illegal tactics to protect its monopoly in search. AppleInsider testing didn't back that up, nor has our research confirmed the Financial Times assertion that Apple has been recruiting more search engineers.

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