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Apple Replaces Bing With Google as Search Engine For Siri and Spotlight (geekwire.com) 54

Apple is ditching Bing and will now use Google to power the default search engine for Siri, Search within iOS (iOS search bar), and Spotlight on Mac. From a report: TechCrunch reported Monday that Apple users will now see search results powered by Google, instead of Bing, when using those tools. For example, when an iPhone user asks Siri a question that needs a search engine result, the voice assistant will now pull from Google, not Bing. Apple will still use Bing for image search queries using Siri or Spotlight on Mac, TechCrunch reported. Apple said the move was done for consistency; its Safari browser uses Google as the default search engine. In a statement, the company told TechCrunch that "we have strong relationships with Google and Microsoft and remain committed to delivering the best user experience possible." Google is reportedly paying Apple $3 billion this year to remain as the default search engine on iPhones and iPads.
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Apple Replaces Bing With Google as Search Engine For Siri and Spotlight

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  • All the data (Score:4, Interesting)

    by DogDude ( 805747 ) on Monday September 25, 2017 @01:20PM (#55261009)
    Hey, good for Google! Now, they've got every bit of data from every human on the planet using an Android *or* and iPhone! Good for them! That's pretty impressive. As a retailer, it's really much easier to have eveybody's data in one place. We've got so much information about our customers now, that it's like shooting fish in a barrel.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      And now there's even less reason for people to put up with Apple's walled-garden bullshit!
      • by DogDude ( 805747 )
        Apple or Google, it doesn't matter to us. We get all of their data from both.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        And now there's even less reason for people to put up with Apple's walled-garden bullshit!

        That's about the only thing you have left to cling to, isn't it?

    • Re:All the data (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Z00L00K ( 682162 ) on Monday September 25, 2017 @02:05PM (#55261339) Homepage

      I can't say I'm surprised if the goal is to give decent search results. The few times I have tried bing I have been severely disappointed.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      ...and thanks to the Equifax leak, you don't even need to wait for your customers to buy your product. You can just charge their credit cards for them. It truly is a golden age for retailers.
  • by JoeyRox ( 2711699 ) on Monday September 25, 2017 @01:28PM (#55261077)
    Remember when Cook gave a speech about how evil Google's business model was in terms of privacy, all while Apple was collecting billions of dollars from Google in a secret agreement between the two companies to make Google the default search engine in iOS?

    Based on this news it looks like Google just sweetened that deal.
    • Fortunately you can still change the default search engine - I'm using DuckDuckGo on both my phone and my computer. It seems to work about as well as Google.

      Heck, on those occasions I've been dissatisfied with DDG's results and tried it on Google, I get the similar poor results from Mountain View.

      • by Albanach ( 527650 ) on Monday September 25, 2017 @01:48PM (#55261221) Homepage

        Fortunately you can still change the default search engine - I'm using DuckDuckGo on both my phone and my computer. It seems to work about as well as Google.

        Really? I do a search for Target Pharmacy hours tomorrow. Duckduckgo gives me a page full of links - Google and Bing both give me an answer.

        Search has moved on from Altavista, and when we're talking about search in response to voice commands it becomes double important to be able to answer natural language queries with natural language results.

        Not that I'm dismissing the privacy concern. I think it's a valid one, just that the example of duckduckgo as a fully fledged alternative doesn't really work.

        • Generally sounds like it depends on your use case. For me, when I'm doing a search I'm usually looking for detailed information. That doesn't lend itself to short blurbs of superficial data being offered up in voice or in text. Most of the time when that's offered, I find it's getting in my way rather than helping me.

          But the thing is, your "alta vista" comment implies that I'm simply not familiar with how "good" modern search engines are... and, perhaps, if only I did know, I'd join the enlightened many. Bu

          • I think you misunderstand my point. The article is about apple using Google for Siri results. That is obviously vastly different from searching for detailed information about a topic - Siri is really only useful if she has answers, not links to more information.

            My Altavista comment wasn't about how good one search engine is over another. I was referring to what was once the pinnacle of search to point out that the way the majority of users are using search has changed. Those links were great 20 years ago, a

            • Interestingly enough, when I tried your search a little while ago using Siri (except I picked "Walmart pharmacy") - Siri asked me which location I wanted (since three are basically equidistant from here) and then told me the hours out loud. So it appears iOS 11 Siri is not simply relying on my chosen search engine, which isn't that surprising I guess. ... and once I managed to get Siri to return a list of links - which was harder to do than it might seem, since she kept trying to be "helpful" in the manner

        • ++

          I like the relevant info, not just links. It's not 2004 anymore.

        • Really? I do a search for Target Pharmacy hours tomorrow. Duckduckgo gives me a page full of links - Google and Bing both give me an answer.

          For this search, you're correct, but DDG launched their zero-click box a year or so before Google gained an equivalent. This shows a domain-specific answer (e.g. from Wikipedia, Stack Overflow, a calculator, a code search engine, GitHub, and so on) above the results.

          For your specific search, I'm much rather have a link, because I don't know how accurate or how up-to-date Google's scraping of the page is, but I'm pretty confident that the retailer in question will have up-to-date opening hours on their o

      • by kwoff ( 516741 )
        Some say DDG's search results have improved, but not yet in my experience at least. I did switch to startpage.com recently after a comment from here or Hacker News, and it's working a lot better for me, for what it's worth.
        • I did switch to startpage.com recently

          If startpage would create an "iGoogle" like portal, I'd pay the $60/month for it in a heartbeat.

      • DuckDuckGo for sat images or driving instructions is a no-go.

        • The satellite images seems like a valid point. Using generic search to get driving directions nowadays seems sub-optimal, though (but I do know one or two people who inexplicably still insist on going to Mapquest and downloading a printed set of turn-by-turn directions).

      • by DogDude ( 805747 )
        So, you keep Google from getting your info, but you still give it freely to Apple...?
      • I've also switched to using DuckDuckGo. But still several times a day I have to load up Google or Bing - mostly for more obscure programming related searches, where Google sometimes provides a few useful results DDG does not.

        I will say it's much better than the last time I tried, where I had to switch back after a week.

      • Fortunately you can still change the default search engine - I'm using DuckDuckGo on both my phone and my computer. It seems to work about as well as Google.

        I replaced Google with DuckDuckGo as my default search engine, and I used it for about a month. DuckDuckGo does not measure up. It is not terrible, but it is also nowhere near as good as Google. It pains me to write this, for I believe that Google has become thoroughly obnoxious, and likely to become only worse. However, when it comes to searching, it still rules. DuckDuckGo will have to improve VERY significantly, if it is to attain a comparable performance.

        • I've read this a few times, yet never with any actual examples. What searches does DDG not give a good answer for? I've used it as my primary search engine for almost a decade now and occasionally use their !g or !b shortcuts to rerun a search with Google or Bing if they don't give me a useful result. In every single instance that I've tried, DDG has given me no results (or half a dozen), Google and Bing have both given me pages and pages of results that are completely irrelevant to my search term.
  • Darn it (Score:5, Funny)

    by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Monday September 25, 2017 @01:29PM (#55261091)

    And I had just finally gotten used to saying "let me Bing that for you".

  • Yes, because Bing gives consistently shitty results.

  • It's really a random link generator.

  • by DarthVain ( 724186 ) on Monday September 25, 2017 @03:03PM (#55261747)

    From the Summary:
    "Apple said the move was done for consistency"

    and

    "Google is reportedly paying Apple $3 billion this year to remain as the default search engine on iPhones and iPads."

    Sounds more like Apple likes to consistently receive 3 billion dollars...

    • They're referring to Tim Cook's financial advisor, Frank Consistency.

    • I'm sure that has played a part.

      But, I wouldn't underestimate the desire for the success of their Apple Homepod. Google Home's superior search result quality has been causing it to win most head-to-head comparisons with Alexa (which uses Bing) and is likely the reason that it already leads the market in dollar sales despite giving Alexa a head start of over a year.

      Apple has likely decided that, especially given the price point of their entry into the market, they cannot hope to succeed if they enter the mar

  • Bing search is much better than it used to be. I feel great about using it all the time unless I really need to dig on a topic. Which case switching temporarily to google will be able to offer up additional unique search results that I do not see on Bing about 1 or possibly 2 out of 5 times.

    Clearly Microsoft is catching up to google, which is a good thing. Plus those homepage pictures Bing has are always fantastic.

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