Apple Beefs Up Smartphone Services in ‘Silent War’ Against Google – Slashdot


Apple is taking steps to separate its mobile operating system from features offered by Google parent Alphabet, making advances around maps, search and advertising that has created a collision course between the Big Tech companies. From a report: The two Silicon Valley giants have been rivals in the smartphone market since Google acquired and popularized the Android operating system in the 2000s. Apple co-founder Steve Jobs called Android “a stolen product” that mimicked Apple’s iOS mobile software, then declared “thermonuclear war” on Google, ousting the search company’s then-CEO Eric Schmidt from the Apple board of directors in 2009. While the rivalry has been less noisy since, two former Apple engineers said the iPhone maker has held a “grudge” against Google ever since. One of these people said Apple is still engaged in a “silent war” against its arch-rival. It is doing so by developing features that could allow the iPhone-maker to further separate its products from services offered by Google.

[…] The second front in the battle is search. While Apple rarely discusses products while in development, the company has long worked on a feature known internally as “Apple Search,” a tool that facilitates “billions of searches” per day, according to employees on the project. Apple’s search team dates back to at least 2013, when it acquired Topsy Labs, a start-up that had indexed Twitter to enable searches and analytics. The technology is used every time an iPhone user asks Apple’s voice assistant Siri for information, types queries from the home screen, or uses the Mac’s “Spotlight” search feature. Apple’s search offering was augmented with the 2019 purchase of Laserlike, an artificial intelligence start-up founded by former Google engineers that had described its mission as delivering “high quality information and diverse perspectives on any topic from the entire web.”



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