Owen WilliamsFormer TNW employee
Owen was a reporter for TNW based in Amsterdam, now a full-time freelance writer and consultant helping technology companies make their word Owen was a reporter for TNW based in Amsterdam, now a full-time freelance writer and consultant helping technology companies make their words friendlier. In his spare time he codes, writes newsletters and cycles around the city.
Today, Apple unveiled that it’s allowing developers to tap into Spotlight search for the first time.
When iOS 9 is released to the world developers will be able to expose their app’s information to Spotlight for indexing in user searches.
A recipe app, for example, could make available its data for searches like “apple pie” and take the user directly to the recipe, inside its app, from a single tap inside Spotlight.
This new change is a huge opportunity for both developers and Apple, but it may matter most to Google.
This means war. Apple is now actively trying to keep users away from the search engine.
With Spotlight’s API, Apple is building a new kind of search engine that has deep access to the data that apps make available on the iPhone. The company is slowly removing every reason to head over to Google by providing the results users want without ever visiting a Web page.
Apple was already actively providing direct search results for supported services like Amazon and Wikipedia in Safari as you typed. But this, along with native apps, mean users may never need to open their browser to go to a search engine at all.
If you think about the way you use your iPhone already, you probably only ever open Safari to search for something or read the news.
Everything you care about already lives within apps anyway, so now there’s one less step to get there, because Apple is surfacing the answers on your phone itself.
The best part about Apple’s new Spotlight API is that the company promises the data only ever stays on your phone. It never leaves, or is used to create a profile about you. The average user might not have cared about that a year ago, but as privacy concerns grow, there’s another reason to consider something new.
It’s been reported that Google’s deal for staying the default search engine on iOS is up for renewal and this change guarantees Apple is moving away from it.
Apple’s new way to search was one of the biggest pieces of news out of WWDC today and if the company plays its cards right, could change the way we iOS users use Google and other search engines in a big way.
Read Next: Apple will allow developers to tap into Spotlight for the first time
Get the TNW newsletter
Get the most important tech news in your inbox each week.