iOS 7: Siri To Ditch Google Search for Bing

Apple WWDC 2013 banners - Photo by Anita Hart

In an announcement at Apple’s World Wide Developer’s Conference (WWDC 2013) it has been revealed that Google will no longer be providing search services for the flagship Siri app.

Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services let slip that it would primarily be Bing that powers Siri for users that update to or buy a device that uses iOS 7.

Users will be able to specify that they want to search using Google if they wish, but if they don’t indicate a preference then Microsoft’s Bing search engine will be used.

Siri’s new integrated web search is also now able to tap into both Wikipedia and Twitter.

You might have thought Apple had learned their lesson as to what happens when you ditch Google in place of a weaker alternative. Last summer’s maps fiasco led to staff departures, a decline in share price, and a somewhat bruised reputation for the Cupertino, California based company.

So what is different here?

Well first of all – they aren’t entirely removing Google, just replacing it as default search engine. It is still there if you want, all you have to do is specify. That should stop anyone that really wants to keep Google as their search provider from getting too annoyed.

Secondly, Apple’s Maps system was at the time of launch a far weaker and less accurate product than Google Maps. Bing however is a reasonably mature and fully developed product – launched in 2009.

What impact will this have? There are no publicly available figures for how many searches Google receive direct from Siri. Doubtlessly Google will see a slight loss of traffic and revenue – though its impact is unlikely to be earth-shattering.

Image: Apple WWDC 2013 banners – Photo by Anita Hart