During the keynote presentation at its developers conference, Apple has revealed that Google is to be dropped as the Internet search engine for Siri in the next release iOS 7. Bing will now be used instead of Google for all Internet searches requested via iOS’ build-in voice assistant. According to comScore, Bing is only used for around 17 percent of Internet searches in the USA. Although switching from Google Search to Bing is clearly a boost for Microsoft, the question remains – is Bing up to the task?
With less than one fifth of searches in the USA using Bing it would seem that Internet users have voted overwhelmingly that Bing isn’t as good as Google Search. And it isn’t because Bing doesn’t have the exposure, Yahoo uses it to power it search results and of course it is built into Internet Explorer. With Apple choosing Bing, will user satisfaction with Siri increase or decrease?
If iOS 7 users do start to miss Google powered search results they can explicitly ask for them by using the command “search Google” when using Siri.
Although Apple is now trusting Microsoft for searches requested via Siri it would seem that the Cupertino tech giant is only prepared to go so far. The newly announced iOS 7 includes a new version of Apple’s Safari web browser and Google remains the default search engine for Safari. New in iOS 7’s version of Safari is the “unified smart search field” which also uses Google Search, this time for the automatic search term and URL suggestions.
This latest step is in the line with other actions taken by Apple to decrease its dependency on Google. The last time it removed a Google service the result was Apple Maps, a service which was so bad that it frequently sent people in the wrong direction and ultimately cost Scott Forstall his job at Apple. Let’s hope, for the sake of iOS 7 users, that switching to Bing doesn’t prove to be as disastrous.
What do you think? Are Apple making a mistake by switching to Bing?