Starting this Monday afternoon, Apple users around the world will notice a core part of their online experience on macOS and iOS has changed: Google is now the default provider of search results for queries made to Siri and Spotlight instead of Bing. The tech giant confirmed the swap earlier today in a statement to TechCrunch.
The change comes just as Apple launches macOS High Sierra this Monday as well, after introducing the latest version of their desktop operating system earlier this month along with the iPhone 8 and the iPhone X. Google search results are supposed to give users a more consistent experience across devices and platforms.
Microsoft seems to be the only loser with this new deal, although it still has a presence in Apple’s ecosystem with its Bing Image Search results. Mountain View and Cupertino, however, might have to go over the terms of their agreement again in light of these recent changes.
iPhone now shows you Bing results only if you search images
Apple’s latest move sweeps Bing out of the scene almost completely, giving even more prominence to Google so as to unify the search experience regardless of platform. The only place where Microsoft still holds some presence is in Image Searches conducted through Siri.
The image results from Bing are more refined than those from Google Images, and Microsoft said in a statement they look to be at the forefront of AI development soon. Having user input from billions of Apple users is no small feat, and it feeds the intelligent search experience further to make it even better.
In the meantime, Google has gained more ground on enemy terrain. ‘Hey Siri, search the web for x’ searches will now give results from the tech giant, as will the default web results when the smart assistant doesn’t know what you’re looking for. Spotlight searches on Mac will use Google’s search engine too.
— TechCrunch (@TechCrunch) September 25, 2017
Google and Apple might renegotiate licensing deals over new terms
As reported by CNBC, the two industry leaders have a licensing deal in place over the use of Google in Safari, which amounted to $1 billion in fees according to public documents consulted in 2014.
Analysts suggest that agreement could be worth $3 billion now, and that is before accounting for the new territory on iOS and macOS marked by Google. The two tech giants have proven indispensable for each other’s growth, even as competitors, and might be open to review their current deal.
The company led by Sundar Pichai makes a significant portion of its mobile ad revenue from Apple users, while Tim Cook and co. pocket almost all of the money that Google pays them for the right to have a place on a competing platform.