Apple wants to challenge Google with a new search engine, is there another way? –

A search engine signed Apple? This isn’t the first time this rumor has floated on the surface of the web. This time it comes from Robert Scoble – famous glass hole in his spare time, an augmented reality evangelist, investment advisor, and as such someone who has been introduced here and beyond in Silicon Valley.

Apple Search to fight against Google Search?

In a series of tweets in late May, he listed various pieces of information he had gathered from reliable people, without claiming that everything he said would prove to be true.

He specifically pointed out that Apple’s virtual reality headset would be unveiled in January 2023 for a launch in June of the same year, according to his sources. Tim Cook’s teams would then reproduce the same pattern chosen for the iPhone in 2007.
But the most interesting information is in his last tweet. As a one more thing Released at the last moment, Robert Scoble announces:

“Oh, and a new search engine is on the way too. » Then he adds in continuity: “Will Siri finally get smart?” »

Make the tip of the iceberg smart

This last sentence is particularly interesting as it is actually one of the first editions. Even though it has learned to search for information on the Internet or its music database, especially HomePod, Siri is much less advanced than its main competitors. And this is all the more true in French when the question of language is added.

But ultimately, Siri is just the tip of the iceberg. It is the interface that serves to reach a sum of knowledge. However, Google is at the top here. He works to enrich his knowledge graph since its announcement almost ten years ago. This knowledge base is at the heart of search enrichment in the Google engine, but it’s also the foundation of some of the most stunning demonstrations of conversational artificial intelligence the Mountain View giant has presented in recent years.

Google repeats it with every I/O, its job (and therefore its main know-how) is to collect information, format it so that it can be consulted if necessary or even offered “predictively”. .

So, Apple starting development of a new search engine is certainly good news for Siri Assistant users.


The end of a reign?

Assuming that Apple would consider making it a tool accessible to everyone on the web – and nothing is less certain – this can also be taken as an encouraging sign of a possible end to the almost unchallenged dominance (at least in the US) west) by Google. An alternative to the search engine might have a better chance of succeeding if backed by a giant with the means – because Google search is also, and perhaps above all, a huge economic game. While we’ve seen that being a giant isn’t enough, Microsoft and Bing are clear examples of this.

However, Microsoft does not have the deep integration know-how (sometimes outrageous and comparable to a lock) of Apple. Above all, it does not have the weight of an ecosystem carried by an ultra-present smartphone.

Given Apple’s past and current failures, this search engine shouldn’t be too closed-minded. The failure to abandon Google Maps in iOS shouldn’t be repeated either. The launch of Maps, featuring Apple’s cartography, was the result of a certain rush – partly imposed by Google denying Apple certain features like turn-by-turn navigation – and management errors that we hope won’t see again.

The foundation for a new era of data protection

Furthermore, Apple would have a very relevant card to play if it got into search engines: that of privacy protection, which would involve an overhaul of the search engine economic model in the continuation of its efforts against online tracking.

A niche that Qwant in particular already occupies with more or less luck. But it would take on a whole new dimension powered by a giant like Apple. Not only does it have the means, but this vision is fully consistent with its industrial strategy – product and service design – and commercial.

Nevertheless, the task will not be easy, that’s for sure. Google has been around since 1996, so to speak, although young Sergey Brin and Larry Page’s project was undoubtedly a far cry from what Google Search is today. Not to mention the habits of Internet users, it is necessary to achieve a quality of response sufficient from the outset to seduce users and distract them from Google.

Action must be taken quickly

Whether the tool remains in the shadows and only accessible via Siri or Spotlight, or whether it’s launched with fanfare to confront Google, another element will also rush Apple. Since 2019, and things accelerated significantly last May during the 2022 edition of I/O, Google has made strides in its strategyambient computing.

This claim can be summarized very schematically in one sentence: Providing the right information anytime and anywhere, regardless of the end device used. In light of this vision of technological ubiquity, we need to hear Google’s recent efforts in hardware – a strength so far almost reserved for Apple.

Yes, Pixel has been around since 2015, but things got particularly serious with the launch of the first in-house Tensor chip in 2021, designed for Google devices and specifically for services that rely heavily on machine learning algorithms.

With that in mind, the early announcement of a connected watch and tablet is just a signal that Google, the king of software, is now taking the hardware part, which it controls and masters very well, very seriously. The prototype/concept of connected glasses intended for simultaneous translation seen at the very end of the Google I/O is both proof that Google does not want to repeat the hardware failures of the past – the consequences have been drawn from the failure Google Glass — and that Sundar Pichai’s teams have a long-term vision of where they want to go.

Apple assumes the exact opposite. He masters the material, increasingly controls each of these components. What is missing, however, is the advanced science of AI, the gigantic accumulated and structured knowledge base – although searches of Spotlight on Mac and Siri on iOS/iPadOS show that a promising “embryo” exists.

The future… of the future?

Apple needs to take the steps that will make tomorrow’s Apple services and devices as “smart” as Google’s. The beginnings of this effort are already visible in Apple’s operating system, but there is still work to be done to be able to translate conversations on the fly to indicate the location of a restaurant serving a dish featured in a magazine photo or online etc.

Especially since many of these service and technology building blocks, useful in a Mac and very handy in an iPhone, will no doubt become indispensable when the time comes for the advent of mixed reality, which, if the promise is kept, will merge the real world and the digital world.

In that sense, and while the search engine itself is just one piece of a more complex puzzle, and whatever its ultimate form, this Apple Search project is exciting. Only a few days left before it’s known if it’ll be coming out of its labs for WWDC 2022!

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