Rumours that Apple is working on its own Google search-like platform have appeared again, this time courtesy of The Information.
The report mentions that as part of this effort, Apple acquired AI news startup Laserlike back in 2018, a company founded by several former Google engineers. However, The Information says that these engineers have returned to Google, including Srinivasan Venkatachary, who reportedly took on the role of Apple’s search team lead. This division of the tech giant works on features like Spotlight and Siri.
“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,” writes The Information.
This development is especially interesting because Google reportedly pays Apple roughly $18 billion to $20 billion per year (via 9to5mac) to be the default search engine on the former company’s devices. It’s likely that if Apple’s search engine ambitions come to fruition, this agreement would be quickly severed.
Finally, The Information mentions that Apple is still roughly four years away from launching a Google search rival.
Hopefully, if Apple’s search engine eventually launches, it isn’t as bad as Apple Maps was when it was first released.