Apple has picked a new favorite search engine and Google is feeling the cold shoulder.
At Monday’s Worldwide Developer Conference, Apple unveiled its new Mac operating system, OS X Yosemite and with it introduced a new way to search for files on your computer, on the Web or in the App Store.
Spotlight has long been the default search tool in Mac OS X that lets users find files on their computer’s hard drive. Spotlight is now a much more robust search feature on both Mac OS X Yosemite and Apple’s new iOS 8 and will allow users to access a search bar that appears directly in the middle of the desktop (as opposed to clicking the magnifying glass in the corner of the screen). For searching the Web, Apple has made Microsoft’s Bing search engine the default, eschewing Google in the process. Last year, Apple made Bing the default search engine for Siri in iOS 7 (along with Wolfram Alpha), so it’s unsurprising that OS X would follow suit with Spotlight.
In previous versions of Apple’s Mac operating system, if you wanted to search something on the Web via Spotlight, it would prompt you to open a new window in Safari, which defaulted to Google. Now, with Apple’s new smarter Spotlight search, it will display information from Bing searches, Wikipedia, restaurant reviews, movie showtimes and more with all that information is powered by Microsoft.
With Apple’s continued reliance on Bing, Yahoo’s rumored bid to become Apple’s partner search engine no longer seems plausible.
Apple Digs At Google With DuckDuckGo
DuckDuckGo, the Internet’s most popular private search engine, is going to be a built-in option in Safari on iOS 8 for iPhones, iPads and iPods and OS X Yosemite. This means users can select DuckDuckGo as the default Safari search engine in favor of Google, Yahoo and Bing on their Apple devices.
DuckDuckGo is a search engine just like Google with one key difference—the company doesn’t track its users. As privacy concerns grow, DuckDuckGo has exploded in popularity. In 2013, the company received over one billion search queries. The integration with Apple will no doubt give the company a boost.
Many Web users prefer DuckDuckGo to Google because it is private by default and does not track cookies or save your search history. Privacy mavens have long been against Google’s practice of aggregating users search information so it can better serve relevant advertisements (which make up about 90% of Google’s revenue). Apple wants to hit Google where it hurts, directly in its search revenue coffers.
Kicking Google out as the primary search for iOS and adding DuckDuckGo integration is a not-so-subtle kick in the teeth to Google from its former friend Apple. Google is still the primary search engine for Apple’s mobile Safari browser, but one has to wonder how long that will last. Google and Apple used to have a great working relationship with Google the preferred search engine available in Safari and all Mac products. Google fell out of favor with Apple when it released its Android mobile operating system that directly competes with iOS and Apple has increasingly gone to Microsoft, its longtime enemy, for search functionality instead of Google.
“It’s awesome to see Apple making it easy for Safari users to access our search engine,” founder and CEO Gabriel Weinberg said in an interview. Currently the only way to switch your default mobile or Web browser search to DuckDuckGo is with a browser extension, which is challenging, Weinberg said, especially if a user has never done it before.
Weinberg did not disclose the details of the Apple search partnership, but it’s the first private browser to be integrated with Apple products.