In the iOS 7 demo, it was revealed that Siri has some new features, and among them are Bing web search results, not to mention Twitter search and Wikipedia content. In addition to potentially making Bing more of a factor in users’ search habits, the features also help Apple better compete with Google’s (and Android’s) conversational search and Knowledge Graph.
But that’s not all that Apple has done with search. While the company didn’t exactly announce it, it has also made Russian search engine Yandex available as an option in Safari in both iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks. This is the case in Russia, Ukraine and Turkey, where that search engine already has a substantial user base.
Now, Apple hasn’t gone so far as to make Yandex the default search in these countries, at least not in the beta that developers have gotten their hands on.
This signals that Apple isn’t ready to completely abandon Google just yet, despite the increasingly rocky relationship between the two companies. If you’ll recall, Apple recently dropped Google Maps for its own Maps product, and some have speculated that it’s only a matter of time before Google is no longer the default search on Apple products.
That could still happen, and we could just be in the early stages of Apple phasing it out. TechCrunch reported earlier this year, however, that Google could pay Apple $1 billion next year to remain the default search engine on iOS. How much would Microsoft pay? Or Yandex?