Apple Search, Google Event, Spam Mail

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The Next Bing Thing for Apple

As big of an Apple fan as I may seem to be, I have never hidden the fact I am a bigger Microsoft fan. If they still manufactured and supported their Windows Phones, I undoubtedly would still have one and sacrifice my blue bubbles. Someone even installed Windows 11 on a Lumia 950 XL from 2015 - the pinnacle of Windows Phones - and I’m this close to finding one on Ebay and installing Beeper on it.

Well, according to reports, it seems like Apple and Microsoft almost teamed up to replace Google with Bing as the default search engine within the last few years. We now see that didn’t go through. While some say money was a factor, it seems as if Microsoft was ready to play ball. It also appears both companies have similar amounts of free cash flow, so I definitely wouldn’t bet on money being the issue. Especially since Microsoft has put a lot of money and effort into Bing over the years.

Ultimately, I think the issue is more about what not using Google would do to Apple. Microsoft arguably provides a similar service and quality and quantity of products, so that can’t be the issue. However, with Google and YouTube holding the top two spots on website visits in the US, they — essentially — own the web. By the way, the third place site isn't even close. Meaning - Google could then advertise for their Chrome Browser on Google.com, YouTube, and Gmail, among other Google services. Once someone switches on their phone, they will probably also switch on their tablets and computers. Ultimately causing issues for Safari users across the slew of Apple devices. Apple isn’t ready for the fight against Google in search. At least yet…

Don’t be fooled though. Bing provided much of Siri’s backend from around 2013-2017 until the contract ended. It arguably did better than it did when Google was used, too. With Microsoft - and thereby Bing - owning a major stake in OpenAI (ChatGPT’s head company), I’m betting Apple may have wished they worked with Microsoft over Google. Especially since there’s been talk they’ve been working on their own AI Chatbot.

In my trying to be unbiased opinion, Apple should forget about Google or Microsoft, and instead buy out another search company and rebrand it as Siri Search. They have the capital, ability, and pipeline to make it happen. They are too big of a technology company to have to worry about accepting any sum of money from one of the other two biggest players in their field. They have already replaced many other Google and Microsoft products with their own: Maps, Email, Messages, Cloud Storage, Documents, Spreadsheets, Presentations, and much more. Search is only bound to come, and its way past time.

In regard to choosing one, there are a few other major players: DuckDuckGo, Yahoo, Ecosia, and Ask. I believe DuckDuckGo makes the most sense even though there may have been talks. Their whole platform is all about privacy and security. Apple seems to stand for that as well, and even made some major moves with their iOS 14.5 Update that made waves across the internet and even caused Facebook to take out ads against it and ultimately lose about $10 billion. If they say they value privacy, and I believe they do, I also believe it is time to get away from any third-party company that could use their own customer’s information and behavior. At this point, anyone who chooses a specific search engine knows what they are giving up, but there are many who leave the defaults - thereby placing their trust in Apple. Which makes me wonder if Google looses in the courts, if all Apple would have to do is not only allow, but require, users to select their default search for the web and Siri if not offering their own.

ICYMI: Google’s Fall Event

With Techtember/Techtober in full swing, it’s Google’s turn to make an entrance. With their event, they announced new and updated phones and wearables.

First up is the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro in tandem with Android 14. These phones are “AI first” and have tons of new features to help the user experience become simple, fast, and smart. Bard is now embedded throughout and on the phone, too. A new Actua Display is said to “show the world as it is.” Some other highlights include voice to text working in multiple languages and Call Screen allows an AI virtual assistant to act as a first layer filter to help with spam calls.

On the back, a new camera also comes with a software upgrade. Best Take allows multiple pictures to pick the best face for each person and combines them into the one picture “that you thought you took.” Next to the camera is a temperature sensor, which has been submitted to FDA for self-temperature monitoring, too.

Purchase either phone and receive discounts or free Pixel Buds or Watch. Both of which have been updated, too. The Watch comes with new specs, more durable glass, lighter, longer lasting battery, and a faster charge. The partnership with Fitbit allows better tracking, and an updated app. There are also new “Safety Check” features.

Something positive, but met with a bit of cautiousness, is the announcement that the Pixel 8 Phones will be supported for 7 years. This was viewed as pretty far-fetched, as most Google phones were previously only supported for 3–5 years. Not to mention, Google has a history of over promising or shutting down services not doing well. For comparison, the new Apple iOS 17 update supports phones for the last 6 years. But that’s also not always the case.

POTW: Minimize Spam Snail Mail

In the past, I’ve talked about ways to keep spam out of your inbox, and your name out of the Whitepages. However, spam mail can still show up in your physical mailbox at your home. While it’s not possible to keep everything out, the Washington Post shared a great article on three ways to help stop junk mail. They also note that local mailers with “Current Resident” and political materials are typically unable to be blocked. Either way, every little bit helps. By blocking credit card offers, you are helping from having your identity stolen, too.

To stop most catalogs and magazines, visit dmachoice.org

To stop credit card offers, visit optoutprescreen.com

To opt out of specific company’s marketing, visit catalogchoice.org