Google is now Apple’s default search provider for Siri, iOS search, and Spotlight search on macOS.
When you ask Siri a question it will now pull answers from Google instead of Bing. Bing has been almost fully replaced on iOS, though it will continue to power Siri’s image search results.
In a statement, Apple says it decided to make this change in order to create a consistent web search experience.
Apple wants its users to continue using the same search engine as they move from Safari, to Siri, to Spotlight, and so on.
It’s fair to say Apple has succeeded in achieving that goal since all searches, excluding image searches, will now be powered by Google.
One must wonder if “consistency” was Apple’s only motivation, or if the lofty sum Google is paying them had anything to do with it.
Unlike regular Google searches, all Google searches conducted through Apple will be encrypted and anonymized. In other words, it won’t be possible to trace back a search to any individual user.
This marks the second time Google has been the default search engine for Siri. Google spent a short time as Siri’s search provider before being replaced by Bing in 2013.
Four years later and Google resumes its role as Siri’s search engine. It will be interesting to see what effect, if any, this has on the market share of Google and and Bing.