On the 13th of June, Apple has announced that their digital assistant, Siri, will be coming to the Mac. For the Mac OS, this means a huge change when it comes to search, as users will have easy access to search from the macOS operating system, and it looks like Google isn’t part of that access.
During Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple showed off how Siri will come to the next version of macOS. Anybody who will be running the next macOS, Sierra, will be able to speak their queries to Siri and get information that goes beyond what the current built-in Spotlight search can do.
A live example was shown off of Siri on the macOS, asking “search the web for pictures of falconry” to Siri. Here’s a screen shot from the live blog The Verge did of the WWDC keynote:
Looking at the above image, we can see pictures from “web image search” results came up for the voice search through Siri. The images came courtesy of Bing, which is something you could do if you did the same search though an iPhone. Currently, if you tried doing the same search for Mac, you wouldn’t get anything.
This is because Spotlight doesn’t search anything beyond the Mac, although users might occasionally get “Spotlight Suggestions” to appear that may route them through to other sources like Wikipedia. But if a Spotlight Search doesn’t happen, you’re pretty much out of luck.
The change means more potential exposure for Bing, Yelp and other partners that Siri uses. The new voice query further locks Google out of the Apple search ecosystem, as it isn’t a default Siri partner. But it is possible to explicitly tell Siri to search Google on iOS, so it could happen on Mac as well.
In terms of Safari, Google does remain the default search engine for Safari. Even though it was expected that Apple might now renew with Google last year, it seems that the deal is clearly still continuing.