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Apple is working on an online search engine to rival Google amid broader improvements to Spotlight search, according to a recent report. The information.

The report explains that Apple’s work on search technology is facing setbacks amid Google’s talent loss. In 2018, Apple sought to boost development of its own web search engine by buying machine learning startup Laserlike, which was founded by three former Google search engineers. The company’s technology recommends websites based on users’ interests and browsing history. Now, Laserlike’s founders have reportedly returned to Google.

Apple’s search team is believed to contain at least 200 employees and provides the technology behind Spotlight, Siri Suggestions, and Siri’s answers. The team is still at least four years away from launching a direct replacement for Google search, according to one person who spoke to the team. The information. Although Google pays Apple about $15 billion a year to remain the default search engine on Apple devices, Apple’s development of a domestic rival to Google’s search could increase its leverage over the deal with Google. during negotiations.

Meanwhile, Apple has apparently considered using the technology it created for Apple Music and App Store search. Apple currently uses this search technology for Apple teams that develop applications that use natural language processing, such as the Translate app, and use tweets to determine newsworthy events that should appear in results and recommend Apple News articles. but it could be. will be used more widely in the future. One of the search team’s immediate priorities is said to be improving Spotlight so it can handle “100 times more” queries than it can today.

The idea of ​​an Apple search engine has been floated since at least 2015, when Apple first confirmed its Applebot and posted a series of search-related job listings, and rumors of the service’s eventual launch have surfaced regularly.

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