Apple Confirms 'Applebot' as In-House Web Crawler for Services Like Siri and Spotlight

Apple yesterday gave a few interesting details on something it's calling "Applebot", the company's in-house web crawler that is used to help power services like Siri and Spotlight on iOS and OS X platforms (via Apple Insider).

In the past, Apple has partnered with companies like Google and Bing to provide search results in a few of its own products like Siri, but this week's news could be an additional hint at Apple introducing its own complete search platform in the future. Most recently, in early February, a job listing provided more fuel to a rumor that the Cupertino company was doing just that, although it was likely to be describing ongoing efforts to improve Spotlight and was never legitimized.

applebot
What we now know as Applebot was first spotted by developer Jan Moesen last November, who discovered numerous web hits from a crawler indexing from a block detailed to be 17.0.0.0/8, an IP address block owned and operated wholly by Apple. This, coupled with the impending termination of a contract between Apple and Google for a Safari search engine deal, began fueling rumors of Apple's own dedicated web engine.

The confirmation of Applebot is the closest the company has come to speaking directly on the subject, but it is still unclear whether the web crawler is setting up to be the basis for an Apple-branded search engine, or simply acting as more support for third-party search platforms when running Apple's Siri and Spotlight services.

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Top Rated Comments

the8thark Avatar
119 months ago
Interesting. But just as Apple Maps is no match for Google Maps, the same will probably be true of an Apple search engine vs Google search.

I would downvote you if I could.
Apple and google maps are good at different things. google search though is just a paid service where google chooses some of the higher bidders to get better search results. It's not an unbiased internet search.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MartinAppleGuy Avatar
119 months ago
Just buy DuckDuckGo already! :P
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
japanime Avatar
119 months ago
Interesting. But just as Apple Maps is no match for Google Maps, the same will probably be true of an Apple search engine vs Google search.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
HobeSoundDarryl Avatar
119 months ago
If they plan on making a search engine as good as the comparable Maps experience, then, well, I think I will stick to Google.
WHAT!!!! But with Apple adopting both you can have the amazing experience of getting lost in both the physical and online worlds at the same time. Try that with Google. :p
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
RakEgg Avatar
119 months ago
Yep

Go Apple (search) go! Am sick of all that "Do no Evil" BS.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
HobeSoundDarryl Avatar
119 months ago
Remember when Apple was spun as focusing on a few things and doing them really well?

I heard a rumor that next week Apple is going to get into the business of making oven mits and salsa: //www.youtube.com/watch?v=pA3qAVOLIsU
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)