Apple Still Wants a Search Engine to Beat Google (It’s Not Going Well)

Just make phones lol
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Apple (for some reason) has wanted to develop its own search engine to directly compete with Google for some time now and shockingly, it isn’t going well.

Via a report from The Information, we’ve learned that one of the startups acquired by Apple back in 2018 for the purposes of bolstering the company’s development of a web search engine has left… and returned to Google 🤦‍♂️.

The startup, Laserlike, was founded by three previous Google search engineers and after their acquisition by Apple, co-founder Srinivasan Venkatachary was quickly promoted and placed in charge of key Apple systems teams involved with “searching”:

Srinivasan Venkatachary was a senior director in the search team, which numbers at least 200 employees, according to a person with direct knowledge of the structure. The team, which has operated separately from the group in charge of search results for Apple’s App Store, develops technology for the Spotlight and Siri Suggestions search features on iPhones and Macs and helps improve answers for the Siri voice assistant.

The Information

During his time at Apple, Venkatachary reported directly to Apple’s VP of machine learning and AI, John Giannandrea, who is also an ex-Google exec. Needless to say, this individual was *important*.

Now, Venkatachary is back at Google with a cushy VP of engineering position along with his other Laserlike cofounders:

Venkatachary is now vice president of engineering at Google under James Manyika, senior vice president of technology and society, whose portfolio includes a group tasked with tracking how technologies such as artificial intelligence are affecting social issues, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. Venkatachary’s fellow Laserlike co-founders, Steven Baker and Anand Shukla, are also part of his team

The Information

So, Apple. Why tho? Seriously, why do you want to make a search engine? Google clearly has it handled and they even pay you. Google pays Apple an estimated $18-$20 billion a year to be the default search engine on Apple devices. That’s free money, son!

As of these setbacks, like such vital team members leaving and even returning to Google, The Informations source believes Apple is at least four years away from even attempting to launch a competitor:

Apple is still at least four years away from launching a potential Google search replacement, estimated the person who has been involved with the team. Doing so would undoubtedly require a significant increase in the team’s budget. Apple might also be able to strike a deal with Microsoft’s Bing that’s similar to the one Apple has with Google

The Information

Can we maybe just not? Bleh. Spotlight Search is already an amazing feature so why don’t we just keep improving that and leave the web search engine to the Google boys, Tim.

Better yet, let’s make Siri not suck first – then, after that AI idiot is fixed you can go play around with a web search engine, okay? Okay.

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