Apple officially announced today that it’s replacing Microsoft’s Bing with the Google search engine for Siri web searches and within Spotlight for iOS (now called Search) and Spotlight on Mac. Safari on iPhone, iPad and Mac already uses Google search as the default provider.

The company said in a statement to TechCrunch:

Switching to Google as the web search provider for Siri, Search within iOS and Spotlight on Mac will allow these services to have a consistent web search experience with the default in Safari.

Using Siri on iPhone, iPad or Mac to search the web (“Hey Siri, search the web for…”) will now serve up regular web links from Google as well as video results from YouTube, which is pretty interesting. Web links from Google will also appear when piping queries through iOS’s Search (previously Spotlight Search) or the Spotlight search feature on macOS.

Web image results in Siri and Spotlight searches will still come from Bing, a good decision considering Microsoft’s rich expertise in image search. Like before, you can still use Siri to search your own photos.

All searches and results are encrypted and anonymized, as you’d expect from Apple and Google.

TechCrunch explains:

All of the search results that you see in these different cases will come directly from the search API, which means you’ll be getting the raw, ranked search results that start below all of the ads and Knowledge Graph stuff that appears on a regular Google home page.

Worth noting, of course, that once you’ve clicked on a YouTube video, you’re still going to get served ads, so there is a revenue driver here for Google, even if it’s not direct.

Hitting a “Show Google results” link in search result will take you to Google and its standard tracking will apply. Clicking directly on a website result will take you straight there, not through Google.

TUTORIAL: How to change default search engine in Safari

This change is rolling out today and should be in effect for everyone by the end of the day. It was estimated that Google is paying Apple an estimated $3 billion every year to remain the default search provider on iOS and macOS.

Apple has underscored it has “strong relationships” with both Microsoft and Google.

Is this change for the better or worse, in your personal opinion?

Sound off in the comments!

  • David Gow

    I dislike bing so much

    • Mark S

      How the mighty have fallen. I remember when yahoo used to be #1.

  • techfreak23

    This decision is definitely for the better…

  • I’m very happy that Google is now Siri’s default search engine! My reason for this is because so many times I’ve asked Siri to look something up, then I pull up what she found, and its all in Bing! I very much dislike Bing, as it doesn’t have very good filtering. Again, I definitely think that this is for the better, and will be welcomed by most, if not all, iOS and MacOS users.

  • As much as I dislike Google’s anti-privacy behaviors they simply have significantly better search results than the competition in many cases.

    That said, it would be interesting to know what (if anything) Apple is doing to help protect privacy when using Google via SIRI.

  • Braddock81

    Thank. Jesus.