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Apple drops Bing in favor of Google for Spotlight and Siri web search results

In what will likely be a big blow to Microsoft's search business, Apple is switching from Bing to Google as its default search provider for Siri and Spotlight web results. As reported by TechCrunch, web searches from Siri and Spotlight will now default to Google results instead of Bing when you ask a question.

The reason for the switch is consistency, Apple says in a statement to TechCrunch.

Switching to Google as the web search provider for Siri, Search within iOS and Spotlight on Mac will allow these services to have a consistent web search experience with the default in Safari. We have strong relationships with Google and Microsoft and remain committed to delivering the best user experience possible.

It's difficult to estimate the level of impact this might have on Bing's search traffic. However, the fact that the vast install base of Macs and iOS devices in the wild will no longer default to Bing for web searches is sure to be felt at Microsoft. Curiously, while general web searches will now default to Google, Siri will still tap Bing for image results.

The timing of the change coincides with the launch of macOS High Sierra, and comes just a week after iOS 11 was released. The changes began rolling out as of 9am PT, TechCrunch says.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the Editor in Chief for Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl. Got a hot tip? Send it to daniel.thorp-lancaster@futurenet.com.

88 Comments
  • While I love Microsoft and Bing, Siri using anything but Google was a mistake. Bing often displays the wrong information. Doing a simple search for “Tim Armstrong” and clicking the twitter link sends you to a fake account.
  • Really? I never had any issues with Bing displaying wrong info and I pretty much solely use Bing. Not saying you're lying, I just haven't encountered issues like that since the early days when Bing first started.
  • Haven't had any issues using Bing. Always pulls up relevant porn sites.
  • Tim Armstrong... from Rancid?
  • My biggest problem with Bing is that is brings me back old information. A lot of times the information is four or five years old. I wish bing would provide more recent search results.
  • Bing works perfectly for me. Its results are much more accurate than Google's as far as true relevancy. Google caters searches (especially about products) so that their advertisers get priority. If you search for "best Bluetooth headphones" it will come up with a list that seems credible, but it is just sponsored content. Also, Google changes search results if it is not satisfied with the results. If you search "American inventors" in Google while you are in the US, it will come up with a list mostly composed of black inventors who you have never heard of. The inventors listed probably did something significant, but many of the well-known white inventors are replaced with obscure black inventors for the sake of being politically correct. If you search that in Bing, you will see many more names that you recognize. Heck, even if you search that outside of the US, the results won't be skewed towards minorities.
  • The first Twitter link I see for "Tim Armstrong" on Bing is to a verified account. Are you sure thhis is the example you want to go with?
  • Maybe that is Bing's way of telling you that you should listen to better music.
  • Spoken like someone who lets a search algorithm choose what they listen to.
  • I have it the other way arround. Google only brings up SEO invested crap, while bing shows the real results.
  • You forgot something -- Youtube is default video.  
  • Smart business decision.
  • Bing is trapped  in the windows phone problem . If Bing was better more people  would use it but in order to get better it needs more users.... . 
  • Bing has significantly improved since its early days. I don't know the hard numbers, but enough people are using it that it has really improved(though I'm only speaking for the use case in the US). This is not the same as the windows phone problem.
  • Market share is hovering around 30% for Bing. 
  • Outside the US it's useless
  • It works quite fine in Germany.
  • Yes, WinPhones had the opposite problem : it worked outside of the US only.
  • And since there is no chance google will use bing on their mobile devices coupled with only about 10 users being left on W10M that effectively removes any Microsoft presence from the mobile search market. Good move, Nadella. First phase to add bing to the list of the Retrenched!!!
  • 10 users on Windows 10 mobile
  • I am number 2. Who is number 1? You are number 6. I am Not a number, I am a free man... ...who still uses Win10 Mobile.
  • Most people probably aren't going to get that reference unless they Bing, errr, I mean Google it. I loved that show back in the day.
  • You can be number 11!
  • Lol
  • You forgot about the absolutely fantastic and feature-packed Bing app on iOS and Android. They went all-out to outdo the Google app and I say they acheived that goal
  • This.
    Consumers should be given a choice always. And that includes Windows 10 and Cortana.
  • In one sense I agree with you. It's not good to dump people into a default, however, on a device like a phone, there are so many people that are so afraid of tech, they would absolutely have their head explode if they had to choose a search provider. It makes no sense, but I literally just had to deal with it with my mother in law. The idea of choosing a search engine was so foreign because even your browser allows you to just type in the search bar now. 
  • You can change it...unlike what MS was sued for and lost in the EU by forcing people to use that Gawd aweful IE!
  • I'm well aware, not everyone is, that's my point.
  • Apple was too late to change it. I'm sure bing performs great in America. But there is a truth needs to be spoken in the perspective of Microsoft world's edge limited by America. Also Satya's world is flat. People have no advantage with bing in remain world(except porn search). If they keep doing same nonsense they will loose in other businesses too.
  • Bing suxs just as bad in the US.
  • Judging from your comments, you're obviously just a blind hater.
  • It's first comment was acceptable but after that c'mon.
  • Why would Bing be better for porn?
  • Never used Bing for porn ? Really ?
  • Google served me well
  • I only use Bing, I enjoy my rewards. Fortunately Microsoft doesn't rely on Bing as it's main source of income. I do a lot of technical searches and find Bing provides the best results for me.
  • Cry me a river
  • No one is crying
  • That phrase doesn't actually coincide on what he said.
  • You're the one crying. lol
  • You're a troll, no one was saying anything negative but you
  • I agree with you, AntnyGoomba. 
  • I use Bing and the rewards, too.
  • We have XBox... MS has a plan.. and its going to be amanzing... just like trump does to deal with ISIS.
  • If your comparison is correct, it's time to permanently switch to Linux...
  • 🤣
  • I use Bing 80% of the time Google does have superior image searching though.
  • Did you see that Bing changed image search again? Not permanantly, I think it was an a/b test. I liked it though
  • Honestly I forget they revamped it I was told in an email.
  • Another reason to stay away from the rotten Apple.
  • Why? Why is it so bad for apple to switch its default setting to a superior search engine? Sometimes I don't understand fanboys 
  • Define "superior", hater
  • Bing sucks, like every Microshit product
  • What? Apple used Bing?? I didn't even know... Bings results are just way worse than Google. So that doesn't make any sense to me in the first place.
  • are you outside the US?
  • Yes
  • Siri used Bing, Alexa uses Bing, Cortana uses Bing, Twitter and Facebook use it for Translations, AOL, Yahoo (Verizon) and Ask! all use Bing. Up until now, the only one using Google was Google.
  • But I keep getting ****** results even searching in English
  • you have to change your region to U.S. that is what I did but since Bing wants to change my region to international every time I search from the address bar I had to start using google.
  • But you must change your location to US under Setting on the Bing site. After that you have a great Bing. Don't understand why Microsoft just can deploy their US search engine to us living in the rest of the forgotten world.
  • The reason is consistency... Balls. The reason is Google offered more money.
  • And that is actually good for Microsoft's mobile strategy
  • 😅
  • Macs have a low marketshare, so that won't make much of a difference anyways. IOS has a bigger share though, but not as much as android. later -1
  • Wow! This really took Microsoft out at the knees. Bing is doomed.
  • It seems as though MS just doesn't have a clear strategy for anything. They come up with some great ideas, then get bored or scared of the competition, so they end up abandoning great potential products. They also have a penchant to announce to world what they are working on. This just gives their competitors the edge. Maybe they should keep quiet until they are ready to go to market. Firing all those people hasn't helped either. Not enough manpower to work on projects. It just leads to half-baked and abandoned products. Hopefully Nadella will be demoted back to Head of Azure development. Maybe then MS will get a CEO who has true vision and passion.... I'm sure he is making loads of cash for the shareholders, but in the end, the consumers will realise this is all that they are interested in and abandon MS.
  • Unless it was just the better deal for apple to go with Google moneywise.
  • I'm shocked that they even took Bing on. And shocked it took them so long to switch you Google. Bing is balls.
  • In Europe Google has something like 90% market share. I wonder if the 10% is just Apple users who don't know how to use Google? Well now they won't have to, Google is the default. I enjoy my Office 365 subscription but Bing just isn't good enough.
  • Bing is extremely weak when it comes to doing research. Google is also better at prioritizing valuable information.
  • Bing is great for uncensored searches. Google censores and removes way too much.
  • I've been aware that Apple has been using Bing as its default search engine for a long time now, Bing improved on this usage and apple profited from it as well, however for people out of the US it may not always be the case i guess, unless they knew the workaround for that. Everyone here who hates Microsoft(clearly i see many of those around here waiting for that chance to jab at it cause perhaps they have too much free time on their hands) and sides with google are clearly gonna say "oh Bing sucks" but in reality Google is a advertising company that runs on advertisements and their main income is made out of advertising products and tracking users to advertise more products based on their consumption of the internet, Bing is simply a service provided by Microsoft and they don't have to rely solely on its income from advertisements, thus Bing can be much of a clean search experience rid of absurd marketing and less tracking of its daily consumers which in terms of user privacy is a gain and for apple at the time of Steve jobs, it was the best choice nevertheless Siri and Bing had worked hand in hand ever since to make user experiences better on iOS and Mac's, Apple consumers who have enjoyed these benefits clearly have been the majority of happy consumers thus they are still users of apple products in the long run.
  • Google has been Apple's default search engine in Safari (web browser) for years. This chage is only for Siri, Apple's voice assistant.
  • - post nuked -
  • In addition to my previous post, Steve jobs was a brilliant planner , he knew what was the best services to use for the product he intended to create, that's why the iPhone didn't use flash, and that was almost 10 years ago, now the world realizes that HTML5 is the way to go and in the end it just shows that not what everyone thinks whats best is actually the best, its the products/services that are ignored are which that are actually better in the end, i wonder how Steve jobs would feel about this sudden change of attitude in Apple, Steve jobs respected privacy and he absolutely hated flash for what it was because he was a perfectionist, he saw the reality of it.
  • Again, Apple was using Google as the default search engine for web browsing for years, going back to the Steve Jobs era. You really have no idea what you're talking about.
  • As much as I dislike using Google, this was a good change. Microsoft's mobile UI for Bing is absolutely atrocious, and the major reason why I just use DuckDuckGo as my browser search engine everywhere. The mobile search results look better, and the way it loads more results as you scroll down is amazing. At least we'll be getting better results from Siri and Spotlight, which matters more than which search engine they use - as long as they aren't handing over data user-targeting to Google (which they almost certainly aren't).
  • I agree. But people searching through Google already hand their data over...
  • I use Bing EXCLUSIVELY! Haven't used Google Search for several years.
  • Hah, saw this happening miles away.
  • I had no idea Siri relied on Bing! And for this long?! Whaaaaaaaa?  
  • Bing has gotten better, yes, but it hasn't bested Google. It never will but it's not dangerously close either so there's that. This is certainly not good for MS. 
  • How can you say it never will?
  • :)))) LOL GREAT!! I was expecting this. Bing sucks!
  • using google instead of bing is like you prefer toyota over mercedes... shame on you apple... shame on you!
  • On mobile Google just serves up way too many adds. Sometimes the first 2 pages are ads and sponcered links with 1 or 2 relevant results. That's a waste of my time so I use Bing. 
  • Bing was always garbage...stole results from Google, and hid results m$ didn't approve of. No-one "bings" anything. Like windoze phone, it's dead.