Apple switches default search tool in latest OS X and iOS versions to Microsoft Bing.
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Apple has dealt Google another blow by announcing a new default Web search provider in its operating system: Bing.
At Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference on Monday, the company unveiled a number of updates, including new operating system OS X Yosemite and major changes to Spotlight, Apple's baked-in search function.
Users traditionally searched with Spotlight by clicking the magnifying glass icon on their desktop to find files on their computer's hard drive. In Yosemite, users type on the desktop to search, no longer needing to click Spotlight's icon. Apple also extended Spotlight's search function to include both local files and the Internet results -- via Microsoft's searching engine, Bing.
The move from Google's search engine to Bing is significant. Before, if you wanted to search the Internet via Spotlight, Apple prompted you to open a new window in Safari, which defaulted to Google. When you search the Web via Spotlight in its new operating system, Apple will display search results from Bing instead.
This isn't Apple's first dig at Google. Last year, the company struck a deal with Microsoft to name Bing as the default search engine for questions that users asked Siri.
"Last year, Bing became the default Web search for Siri, and now will also be the default Web search provider in the redesigned Spotlight search feature for the next generation of iOS and OS X," a spokesperson for Microsoft said. "We're excited about extending the Bing platform to help iOS and Mac customers find what they need to get things done."
Although Apple's allegiance has shifted to Bing, the company hasn't blacklisted Google entirely. Google is still the primary search engine for Apple's mobile Safari browser.
In addition to its switch to Bing, Apple announced it will add popular private search engine DuckDuckGo to its list of default search engines, which also include Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
"Safari now gives you more control over your privacy on the Web," Apple said in its announcement. "You can open one Safari window in Private Browsing mode […] while keeping others in regular browsing mode. You can also now search the Web using DuckDuckGo, a search engine that doesn't track you."
DuckDuckGo functions similarly to other popular search engines, with that one exception: It doesn't track cookies nor does it save your search history, making it a popular alternative to Google for users who are concerned about privacy. Last year, DuckDuckGo performed more than 1 billion searches.
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Kristin Burnham currently serves as InformationWeek.com's Senior Editor, covering social media, social business, IT leadership and IT careers. Prior to joining InformationWeek in July 2013, she served in a number of roles at CIO magazine and CIO.com, most recently as senior ... View Full Bio