Apple switches from Bing to Google for Siri web search results on iOS and Spotlight on Mac – TechCrunch


Apple is changing the default provider of its web searches from Siri, Search in iOS (formerly known as Spotlight), and Spotlight on Mac. So, for example, if Siri comes back to a web search on iOS when you ask it a question, you’ll now get results from Google instead of Bing. Updated below with a statement from Microsoft.

Consistency is Apple’s primary motivation for shifting Bing results from Microsoft to Google in these cases. Safari on Mac and iOS already use Google search as their default provider, thanks to an agreement worth billions to Apple (and Google) over the past decade. This change will now reflect these results when Siri, iOS search bar, or Spotlight is used.

“The move to Google as a web search provider for Siri, Search in iOS, and Spotlight on Mac will allow these services to have a consistent web search experience with the default in Safari,” a statement read. from Apple sent this morning. “We have strong relationships with Google and Microsoft and remain committed to providing the best user experience possible. “

This will change on iOS for Siri’s “I don’t know what you are asking but here are the web results” behavior as well as for the intentional “hey, Siri, search the web…” queries.

Search results include regular “web links” as well as video results. The results of Siri’s web images will still come from Bing, for now. Bing has had more than solid image results for quite some time now, so that makes sense. If you use Siri to find your own photos, it will of course use your own library instead. Interestingly, the video results will come straight from YouTube.

All of the search results you see in these different cases will come straight from the Search API, which means you’ll get the raw and ranked search results that start below all the ads and Knowledge Graph items that appear. on a normal Google. home page. It’s worth noting, of course, that once you’ve clicked on a YouTube video, you’re still going to receive ads, so there’s a revenue engine here for Google, although it’s not direct.

As expected with Apple now, searches and results are all encrypted and anonymized and cannot be attributed to any individual user. Once you click on the “Show Google results” link, of course, you head to Google and its standard tracking will apply. Clicking directly on a website result will take you directly to it, not through Google.

The timing of this rollout is interesting, after the release of iOS, but it makes sense given that High Sierra is releasing today. Mixing data providers like this is not without precedent. Maps uses dozens of data providers including Yelp, Foursquare, Garmin, and Tripadvisor for different locales and data types.

But, of course, this change has an added dimension of interest given Google’s long saga being the default on Apple devices, including the iPhone. Google has made a lot of money with iOS because of default search and because its apps and services are popular. Sometimes these the numbers even seemed to exceed the amount of money Google had made from Android.

One question I don’t have an answer for is whether this change comes completely from Apple wanting consistent results or whether it is a condition of the ~ $ 3 billion okay that Google has set up to remain the default search engine on Apple devices. Maybe a mixture of the two.

The changes started rolling out at 9 a.m. and are expected to roll out worldwide by this afternoon.

Update: A Microsoft spokesperson provided the following comment when asked about the modified form of Bing on iOS.

We value our relationship with Apple and look forward to continuing to collaborate with them in a number of ways, including on Bing Image Search in Siri, to provide the best possible experience for our customers. Bing has grown every year since its launch, now fueling more than a third of all PC search volume in the United States, and continues to grow globally. It also powers the search experiences of many other partners, including Yahoo (Verizon), AOL, and Amazon, as well as the multilingual capabilities of Twitter. As we move forward, given our work to advance the field of AI, we are confident that Bing will be at the forefront of delivering a smarter search experience to our customers and partners.

Article updated to clarify that this is Spotlight on Mac, not Safari and only Siri image results are Bing.

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