Product & Startup Builder

How Apple might compete with Google on Search

Added on by Chris Saad.

Thought experiment.

Yesterday I tweeted lamenting the fact that a report shows we now search more within Apps than Google/Web Search...


  1. Notice that on iOS 'Search' is branded 'Spotlight Search'.
  2. Notice the new 'Continuity' Features on iOS 8 and OSX Yosemite that involve lots of cross iOS/OSX interactions
  3. Notice the SMS Syncing between iMessage and Desktop
  4. Notice deep spotlight search on the OSX - showing content within an App in the search results (like recent documents etc)
  5. Apple has clearly shown they want to disintermediate Google by turning every search box on an Apple device (iOS or OSX alike) into a branded search experience "Spotlight" that a) they control b) mixes both web and native/app content.

Imagine taking this further in a series of incremental steps that would eventually lead the app developer community along towards a powerful end goal...

  1. Introduce 'Deep App Search' on iOS. An API that App Developers can use to allow spotlight to index their contents so they can appear in iOS search results and/or Siri or more often
  2. Introduce 'Continuity' for Search Results... When I get a result on OSX Spotlight, why can't I 'launch' it on my iOS Device and vice versa.
  3. Introduce Search Sync so that OSX Spotlight can return results from my iOS devices/Apps (and vice versa). Content that can only be seen on my phone will only allow that option in the search results
  4. All of this would presumably be via iCloud... 
  5. Apple could provide a WEB Interface to all this.. say at
  6. BOOM! Apple would now have a differentiated Web Search Interface that rivals Google using...
  • A well known search brand (Spotlight)
  • Bing for Web (at least until they decided to build their own)
  • Deep/personalized results from your iOS app data. They might even be able to reach into FB if FB played along with the FB iOS App.