During today’s WWDC keynote, Apple’s Eddy Cue briefly mentioned Bing integration in iOS 7. While demoing new features in Siri, Cue mentioned that Bing is used to power web searches. Nothing was said about Google, and that shouldn’t come as a surprise.
Apple has been distancing itself from Google for quite some time. For instance, Apple Maps is now on iOS and OS X. Bing integration in Siri, while a more subtle move, is definitely a knife jab at Google. And Microsoft couldn’t be happier.
Siri is already a Google search replacement in the sense that it uses services like Wolphram Alpha and Yelp to answer certain kinds of questions. In iOS 6, Siri uses your default search engine in Safari to show web results (Google, Yahoo, and Bing are options). Apple’s mention of Bing today in relation to iOS 7’s Siri indicates that Microsoft will be the default search provider no matter the engine you have set as your default.
“Starting this fall with iOS 7, Bing will power Siri’s new integrated web search,” according to the official Bing blog. “We are thrilled that all the great results people have come to know and love on Bing.com will now be available to Siri users on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.”
The partnership is ironic when you consider that Microsoft just started airing Windows 8 tablet ads that use Siri to mock Apple products.
We’ve reached out to Apple for clarification on how Bing integration works in iOS 7. Apple would never completely remove Google as a search provider, right?