Apple’s web search tech engineer leaves Google, report says

Apple acquired Laserlike, a startup founded by a former Google search engineer, in 2018. Some of those employees have now returned to Apple.

Apple has been rumored to be working with a Google search competitor for years. (Image credit: Associated Press)

Some employees of Apple’s search team have reportedly left the company to join Google, thwarting the former’s ambitions to develop a search engine that could compete with the latter.

According to a report informationThe departing employee was the founder of Laserlike, a company Apple acquired in 2018. Founded by three former Google search engineers, Laserlike is a service that recommends websites to users based on their interests and browsing habits. According to reports, Apple bought the company to improve the search function of Siri and Spotlight.

Apple has been rumored to be working on building its own search engine for years, although the company itself has never confirmed this. Currently, Google pays Apple billions of dollars a year to make Google the default search engine on Apple’s iPhone and iPad devices.

Apple recently moved the Spotlight search button to the bottom of the screen starting with iOS 16. This means users don’t have to swipe down from the home screen to get to Spotlight, just tap the search button at the bottom to get to the home screen. The small UI changes appear to be an effort by Apple to let users use Spotlight instead of launching Chrome or other browsers on their phones.

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