Apple is working on an improved version of the company’s search engine used in its apps that could soon make its way to more apps, including the App Store, according to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman. In the latest edition of his weekly Power On newsletter, the reporter states that Apple’s apps on macOS and iOS could be equipped with a powerful search engine. Apple’s Spotlight tool on its mobile and computer operating systems has also supported web results powered by third-party search engines.
Gurman says that John Giannandrea, who formerly worked with rival Google, is working on adding a new search engine that is codenamed “Pegasus” to both iOS and macOS. The company could also equip the new search engine with generative AI technology, similar to Google and Microsoft, he says, adding that the company’s upgraded search capabilities may not be limited to its own apps.
Apple also possesses the technology required for the company to launch a search engine that can rival Google, according to Gurman. This includes ‘Applebot’, the company’s web crawler that tracks the web for new content and shows web links in Spotlight search results. Similarly, Apple also offers ad slots in the App Store that are run by the company’s ad technology team.
Meanwhile, Gurman says that Apple continues to benefit from its deal with Google, that the latter’s search engine is the default option on its Safari browser on iOS and macOS. As part of an agreement between the two firms, Google pays billions of dollars to gain access to Apple customers that use Safari, where it is the default search engine.
In addition to traditional search, Apple has also been looking to hire new engineers and acquire companies to develop new search technologies for its products, which suggests that the company could be working on adding generative AI features to its search tools. Rivals Google and Microsoft have been integrating AI-backed chatbots into their search engines — Google Bard and Bing Chat.
Just like the company’s other products, there’s no word from the firm on whether it plans to launch such a product to rival Google — and details are unlikely to be announced until the purported search engine is ready to be released by the company.