An Apple search engine could provide a real alternative to Google

Apple is rumored to be developing its own search engine and that's a good thing, not just for Apple users but for the whole industry

Apple search
(Image credit: Future)

With WWDC now just days away the rumor mill is spinning, and one interesting rumor is that Apple is developing its own search engine. Google is now so synonymous with search that it's often used as the verb. Most people would say, 'just Google it', rather than 'search the internet' and that's not always good for the market. 

Once upon a time, there were lots of options when it came to search engines. Yahoo, Alta Vista, Teoma, and who could forget Ask Jeeves (now ask.com)? But since its launch in 1998, Google has grown and grown, mostly because it was the best. 

There are, of course, still plenty of other options for search, like Bing, DuckDuckGo and Yahoo but the idea of an Apple search engine is interesting. According to our sister site, Tech Radar (opens in new tab), blogger Robert Scoble included a search engine in a list of announcements he expects from Apple this year, based on conversations with sources and some deduction. 

Ask Jeeves browser from 2000

(Image credit: webdesignmuseum.org)

Apple (like Google) has been focusing on securing users' privacy, so pointing its Safari browser to a third-party search engine like Google has long been a sticking point. 

I'm sure it's not all altruistic though. Google, after all, makes billions in Ad revenue so an Apple search engine could easily be profitable – if done well. Any search engine must be able to deliver the results that people are looking for instantly and that is best achieved by knowing something about the person searching, but any new browser has to stand up to scrutiny for data usage, making that task harder. 

If this really does happen Safari users are still likely to get the choice as to whether they will use it but I imagine many will. If you've already bought into the Apple ecosystem, it makes sense. Could it ever reach the heights of Google? I'd never say never with Apple.   

As T3's Managing Editor in the US, Mat has his finger on the pulse for the latest advances in technology. Originally from the UK, he has written about technology since 2003 and after stints in Beijing and Hong Kong, is now based in Chicago. He’s a true lover of gadgets, but especially anything that involves cameras, electric cars, musical instruments or travel.