In the last few days, Apple has received a lot of praise for iOS 7 and all the cool features it now has. While it’s true that iOS 7 will be excellent when it is released, Apple forgot to learn one important lesson from its iOS 6 release: don’t eliminate Google. One new feature in iOS 7 that was not discussed in much detail at WWDC 2013 was Apple’s decision to implement Bing search integration into iOS 7.
For those who heard Apple’s announcement about Bing and were disappointed to hear that Bing is at the top of iOS 7 searches, do not be sad: Google is still available in Siri. If you want to use Google, just say the word or phrase and “Google search” or “Google” and Siri will know what to do. At the same time, we must examine why Apple decided to do this with iOS 7. There is some underlying reason, and we must get to the bottom of it.
Why Did Apple Decide to Use Bing Instead of Google?
Apple’s decision to go with Bing search integration in iOS 7 is a bit bizarre, if you’re an iOS user who has relied on Google search for the last six years. Why would Apple suddenly up and ditch Google as its main search for Bing? Could it be that Apple and Microsoft are becoming chummy as of late?
Not a chance. Keep in mind that Microsoft and Apple have had their own fights in the past, with Microsoft denying Microsoft Office apps on the iPad. One can still access existing Microsoft software on an iPad by way of a Remote Desktop application and Office software on a Windows, Mac PC or MacBook, but many iPad users have turned to other applications such as Evernote to fill this void.
Apple is expected to have Microsoft Office for iOS, along with Google’s Android, by Fall 2014. At this point, Microsoft, Apple, nor Google have made any announcements about this. This hasn’t stopped Bill Gates from believing that a lack of Office on the iPad upsets iPad users.
Why Apple Considers Microsoft To Be An Opponent
Apple considers Microsoft to be an opponent, though it will not tell you so or make jokes about Windows as it did Android and NFC on Monday morning. After all, Apple did just add FaceTime audio calls over WiFi to iOS, did it not? And who do you think this WiFi calling feature is in competition with? You guessed it: Microsoft! Skype has become Microsoft’s “ace in the hole,” with many iOS users recommending and using the service in large numbers.
Skype, however, competes directly with Apple’s very own FaceTime, Apple’s video chat service in-built for iOS users. One would think that FaceTime would be more accessible than Skype, since it’s baked into iOS 7 and needs no additional app download. However, most iPhone users download the Skype application and use it over WiFi constantly. Apple’s desire to compete and win back the hearts of its consumer base is the motivation behind the addition of FaceTime Audio calling in iOS 7.
Why Apple is More Opposed to Google than Microsoft
Let’s face it: no one applauded Apple when the company announced Bing integration into Siri. The reason? Most iOS users don’t rely on Windows for anything, and few consider Microsoft an opponent to iOS — although some users have decided to leave iOS and try a Windows phone or two. IOS users do not use Bing, so the announcement was greeted with silence.
Apple never announced its intentions, but the goal of Bing integration was to find one more way to push Google out of iOS. Remember Apple’s Maps fiasco? Starting with iOS 6, Apple decided to eliminate YouTube and Google Maps in iOS, but Apple’s 3D Maps quickly hit a brick wall. After Tim Cook’s apology letter (and Forstall’s firing due to his refusal to sign the apology), Tim Cook specifically addressed Google’s Maps application by name (though leaving room for other Maps applications). Not only has Google won the hearts of iOS users with its Maps application, but also GMail and Google Now integration (recently).
Google’s services were once Android-restricted, but they are now available on iOS — and iOS users love them! Apple has paid attention to diagnostics and surveys from its users, all noting their love for Google and Google services. As a result, Apple’s Bing integration into Siri is designed to do nothing more than get people away from Google services, which they love, into a service that they may not like as well.
Think about it: When Apple is compared to Google in terms of services, Apple wins in certain categories but Google has a strong foothold. When stacked up against Windows, Apple looks ideal, nearly perfect, in what it offers its customers. Apple doesn’t have a search engine, but that’s not what this fight is about; instead, Apple’s decision to go with Bing search integration is to dry up the profits Google makes from its search engine.
Apple doesn’t like Google. Apple doesn’t like Microsoft either, but in the race to the top, Microsoft is the lesser of two competitors.
Do you like the idea of Bing search integration in iOS 7, or would you prefer Google? We want to hear from you.