John Giannandrea, a former Google executive who moved to Apple to lead the company’s artificial intelligence business, announced an inconspicuous change in the latest iPhone software update.
According to Mr. Giannandrea, as a result of this update, users have the opportunity to choose a search engine other than Google, while viewing materials on the Internet in private mode.
The iOS 17 software was released on September 18. The tech giant has added a second setting so that users can choose two different search engines. John Giannandrea said this in his testimony in federal court in Washington as part of the Justice Department’s antitrust lawsuit against Google, owned by Alphabet.
The change for the owners of devices of the technology giant in a practical sense means the possibility of switching between Google and another search engine with a single touch.
The difficulty of switching between search platforms in the Internet space was challenged in an antitrust lawsuit by the United States government, which contains a statement that Google illegally maintained a monopoly on algorithms for finding the materials needed by consumers in the digital information space through contracts with web browsers and smartphone manufacturers, including Apple.
Last week, Google, in its opening statement, noted that users have access to an easy-to-use algorithm for changing the search engine, indicating that the corresponding process takes several seconds. At the same time, last Thursday, September 21, Gabriel Weinberg, chief executive officer of the competing search engine DuckDuckGo, said that the default status of this Internet industry giant is an obstacle for consumers to switch. In his opinion, the process of changing the information search platform in the virtual space involves too many actions.
Google’s contract with Apple has led to the Internet giant’s search engine being the pre-selected default system in the Safari web browser, which is installed on iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Cooperation between the two companies is based on the principle of mutual benefit. The terms of the contract stipulate that Google pays Apple part of the income received as a result of advertising materials placement activities. There is no reliable information about the amount of these payments since the relevant data are confidential. At the same time, the United States Department of Justice claims that the Internet industry giant pays Tim Cook’s company from $4 billion to $7 billion annually.
John Giannandrea stated in his testimony that Google will remain the default search engine for the Safari web browser in private mode, within which the history of user visits to websites is not saved. But after a recent software change, Apple device owners have the option to choose the Yahoo, Microsoft Bing, DuckDuckGo, or Ecosia search platform for confidential browsing.
John Gianandrea worked at Google from 2010 to 2018. He served as Senior Vice President of search engine Development. At Apple, his area of responsibility includes the implementation of the tech giant’s initiatives related to machine learning and artificial intelligence.
As we have reported earlier, Apple Reportedly Beefs Up AI Capabilities of Its Mobile Devices.