Apple is making a small yet important change to the way search works on iOS, Mac, and Siri today. When you perform a web search within Siri, iOS Search, or Spotlight on Mac, you’ll now see results from Google, as Apple has made it the new default search provider. Previously, the default search engine those services used was Bing from Microsoft.
Apple told TechCrunch today that the switch was made to make things more consistent for the end-user, noting that Safari on both Mac and iOS already use Google as the default search provider. “Switching to Google as the web search provider for Siri, Search within iOS and Spotlight on Mac will allow these services to have a consistent web search experience with the default in Safari,” Apple said. “We have strong relationships with Google and Microsoft and remain committed to delivering the best user experience possible.”
This switch applies to times when Siri doesn’t have the answer to a question off hand and has to rely on search results, but also when you ask Siri directly to search the web for something. Bing isn’t out of the picture entirely, though, as image searches will still come from Microsoft’s platform. Web searches, meanwhile, will be provided by Google, while video searches will now rely on YouTube.
This change could very well be a product of the rumored $3 billion deal Google struck with Apple to make its search engine the default for queries from Apple products. Even though Google already has a massive market share of search traffic through Android and Chrome, the number of Apple users out there is sizable. Having them sent to Google results en masse still represents a lot of money Google, regardless of its success on other platforms.
This change is going live today, and it happens to be just in time for the launch of macOS High Sierra. All in all, it’s a great day for Google, but maybe not so much for Microsoft. Are you happy with the change? Head down to the comments section and let us know what you think!