One of the new features of iOS 14 was based on its own search tool, which went beyond the terminal itself to show web results. Something that may seem a totally logical step when looking at other alternatives, but which in turn may be an important clue that Apple may be preparing its own search engine and thus become a little more independent from Google.
This is something that has been rumored for a long time, especially when a couple of months ago several developers noticed an unusual activity in Applebot, Apple’s own indexer. It would be a double-edged sword from Apple: on the one hand they would stop depending on a third party for a tool or technology, and on the other they would avoid being investigated (and perhaps penalized) for the payment they receive from Google for being the default engine.
According to the Financial Times, Cupertino’s people are focusing more efforts on developing their own search engine precisely as the authorities are more aware of their operations with Google (than they charge for them), according to industry sources. As we were saying, this is not something new and it is a theory that has been discussed for some time, which also makes a lot of sense in context
Another fact that favors this theory is the hiring of John Giannandrea, who until 2018 was the head of Google’s artificial intelligence team, to work on this very thing and on Siri. However, he could have been a key player in the development of his own engine, since he had already had eight years of experience working on the Mountain View search engine.
In addition, there are job offers from engineers specialized in the field to “define and implement the architecture of Apple’s ‘revolutionary’ search technology” (which are no longer in effect and must have been covered). Something that would fit in a project of this nature.
For now the brand has not confirmed or qualified anything about it, so we’ll have to wait and see if this is finally a reality. Of course, it would be a move that would have all the sense in the world, although given the size of such a project it may still take years to see it as such, because of the complexity of creating a search engine itself and also if you expect to be on par with Google.