Apple Drops Bing Web Search for Google in iOS and Mac

Posted on September 25, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Bing + MSN, iOS with 23 Comments

Apple confirmed that it has dropped Microsoft’s Bing search service for Google in iOS and Mac. The change impacts Siri and Search (formerly Spotlight) search queries on iOS and Spotlight on Mac, the firm says. Apple already used Google as the default search provider in Safari on both platforms.

Techcrunch was the first to report the news.

“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,” an Apple statement reads. “We have strong relationships with Google and Microsoft and remain committed to delivering the best user experience possible.”

Microsoft, for its part, is pointing to the future.

“We value our relationship with Apple and look forward to continuing to partner with them in many ways to provide the best experience possible for our customers,” a Microsoft statement explains. “As we move forward, given our work to advance the field of AI, we’re confident that Bing will be at the forefront of providing a more intelligent search experience for our customers and partners.”

Microsoft can point to Amazon, AOL, and Yahoo/Verizon as those partners, but with this change, it provides only a single search service to Apple, Bing Image Search in Siri. I would imagine that Apple would like to keep some search results with a Google competitor, if only to have a fallback plan if the relationship sours again.

One wonders, however, how this will impact Bing’s search usage share. I suspect it will have a dramatic and negative impact.

As for Apple, the search results that now come from Google occur only when the device’s built-in search feature—Siri, Search, or Spotlight—can’t answer a question or query and must provide web results (which can include videos).


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Comments (23)

23 responses to “Apple Drops Bing Web Search for Google in iOS and Mac”

  1. Bill Russell

    I root for Bing just so there is enough competition so Google search doesn't have to cripple itself as it is started to have to in the EU where its higher than in the US. Its better for everyone if there is strong competition. So, I am not happy about this, even being a full chrome/google "fanboy". Would it be unprecedented if a company started telling people to use the competitors product some of the time, for its own good?

    • hrlngrv

      In reply to Bill_Russell:

      Duck Duck Go doesn't represent serious competition for Google?

      As for Europe, is Google further ahead of of Bing than in the US because Europeans developed their Google habit first and can't shake it (i.e., inertia) or because Bing, like so many MSFT services, isn't as good outside the US?

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  3. dontbe evil

    money talks

  4. illuminated

    Without Bing google search would become crap. Google is mainly "improving" monetization part of their search and without real competition search would stay the same. We would only get more targeted ads. Having said that I am using Bing and Google equally and for my searches they both work about the same. I do not see horrible bing results some people are getting.

  5. Bats

    It's kinda funny that Microsoft touts their partners to be Amazon, AOL, and Yahoo/Verizon.

    It's hard to see Amazon partnering with Google since they have a major war going on with them.

    As for AOL and, what happened to CompuServe, Prodigy, AltaVista, and Lycos? Also, I thought Yahoo has a deal with Google too?

  6. Jules Wombat

    Microsoft needs to go where the users are, and that is with Google search. If Cortana was based upon Google, then her performance would be radically improved. [Especially outside of the USA]

  7. Roger Ramjet

    Curious that Apple did this just several months after Microsoft started touting that Bing network thing. Wonder if what that was about was they got wind and started throwing Hail Marys. My best wild guess is the quality of results became untenable for Apple. They were probably hoping that Microsoft was going to invest into Bing in a head to head with Google in basic search so they have a two horse race they could play long term. But it doesn't seemed to have happened., which is rather odd. Or maybe Nadella doesn't see the world's need for Bing either. There's Google, Facebook. Why is there a need for a third ad network? So to speak. Yet this is Googles daily bread. If you never attack a competitor at their core while they are always attacking yours, then the probabilities are stacked in only 1 direction ...

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  9. PeteB

    User complaints about Siri and Spotlight accuracy will finally drop. I mean, if you've ever seen Bing's results, oof. Not pretty.

  10. Stooks

    I don't really want to use Google products, but when they are the best in class it is hard to ignore them. I use Chrome, Youtube, Photos and Google search.

    I have an iPhone but that new Moto X4 Android One phone on Google Fi is looking like it my be the replacement for the iPhone.

    If Microsoft does not hurry up and fix the contact pictures on Outlook dot com I will be pointing my Outlook email at my Gmail address and will be going back to Gmail.

  11. PincasX

    It is a bit of a disappointing change. It would be nice if users could choose what search engine Siri defaulted to much like they can choose the default for Safari. I'd rather not use Google, Duck Duck Go would be first prize for me.

  12. toukale

    This was a business decision simple as that. It also did not hurt that Google search is the leader in search. Earlier analyst reports suggested that Google is paying Apple $3 billion dollars this year alone to be their default search. It's a big reason why Apple services revenues are so high.

    • PincasX

      In reply to toukale:

      It's certainly a business decision but doubtful it is strictly financial. Google pays Apple every year so that would be baked into previous year's Services revenue and not new to this year.

      • toukale

        In reply to PincasX:

        Actually a lot of it is money. Google have been paying Apple about 1 billion dollar the past few years. It jumped to about 3 billions this year according to all the analysts. One does not need to look too hard to see how big of an influence it had on this decision. Microsoft probably did not want to pay that kind of cash if the ROI was not there for them. For Google it's a win/win, they dealt a big blow to their main search competitor while also cement themselves as the defacto search leader on mobile.

        • PincasX

          In reply to toukale:

          For Apple 2 billion annualized isn't going to have a big impact. Their services revenue for the year will be in excess of 28 billion. Google's contribution really isn't responsible for growth. Again, I doubt that it was strictly a financial decision or Apple, if you can point to evidence that Apple made the decision based on dollar amount alone I'd be happy to look at it and change my view, but right now it is just kind of speculation at best.

  13. John Scott

    I use Bing just to accumulate some points. Otherwise by habit I use Google search and it works so why would I change? Sort of like Google Chrome, I started using it because it works not because I don't like Edge or Firefox. To me Chrome works best so I use it. Once these habits are set in stone, its very hard to change people's minds.

  14. hrlngrv

    If there are significant differences between web searched made from phones and made from other devices (not unlikely), there'd be reason to believe Google web search would become better than Bing on phones because Google would be collecting a lot more data.

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