The gradual banishment of Google Search from Apple products increased with the recent release of iOS 8. Apple’s latest upgrade to their software makes it no longer possible to get Google results by using your iPhone’s Spotlight. Instead, Apple’s Spotlight now uses Microsoft’s Bing search engine, according to International Business Times. The change is also in place for Spotlight on OS X Yosemite software for Macs.
Prior to the release of iOS 8, Spotlight on the iPhone would provide a user with results from within their phone, such as emails, calendar appointments or apps, along with a “search web” option that would generate a Google Search using Safari. With the iOS 8 upgrade, Spotlight search results from Bing are automatically filtered in along with internal results, such as text messages. In its iOS 8 prom0tions, Apple is touting Spotlight as more intelligent than ever.
Meanwhile, Google has re-branded its Google Search app for the iPhone 6. Now simply called Google, the 4.2.0 version integrates Google Now and Chromecast features into its search capabilities, according to the tech blog 9to5Mac. Google Now is a Siri-like program that provides responses to questions by voice. Chromecast is a digital media player, so using the new Google app will drive people to their favorite TV shows on Chromecast. The improvements to the Google app, which is also available for Android phones, will also provide traffic updates and other targeted information.
The removal of Google Search from Spotlight is the latest in a series of moves by Apple to phase out Google from its products. In 2012, Apple Maps was launched as the default map application for Apple’s mobile devices, bumping out the nearly ubiquitous Google Maps. A year later, Siri started giving Google the cold shoulder, and has since only ever used Bing for voice commanded requests.
Seeing Apple turn back toward Microsoft, once its primary competitor, shows just how much of a threat Google has become in the mobile market with its Android phone software. The rivalry now extends to all three companies. Microsoft launched Bing in 2009 to directly compete with Google. In addition to its gradual integration into Apple software, Bing powers Yahoo! Search, which was once the dominant online search engine before Google came along.
Apple’s own browser Safari remains the primary browser for iPhones, yet it still defaults to using Google for searches. This is due to an agreement between the two companies renewed in 2011, which may bring in $1 billion a year to Apple. It’s not known when that deal is up again but such a lucrative arrangement might mean Google Search will remain in Safari, and on the iPhone, for now. Even so, it hasn’t stopped the iPhone 6 Plus from selling out all over the world this weekend.
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