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Searching for Apple's search ambitions

A report suggests Apple is working on its own search technology for the Safari browser, but goes on to debunk itself.

Safari browser
Apple probably isn't looking to challenge the two top search engines in the world with an add-on to its Safari browser. Apple

There's little doubt that Apple has thousands of engineers working on all kinds of crazy stuff down in Cupertino, Calif., but are they really planning to take on Google?

That's the theory sort of advanced by TechCrunch on Thursday, with a post titled "Is Apple building a search engine?" Michael Arrington cites "multiple (if thin)" reports that Apple is working on developing its own search technology, presumably to get around using Google as the default search engine in the Safari browser.

The report, however, debunks itself, noting that Apple has not been hiring search engineers in the volumes that would be required to develop anything competitive with Google. The more likely conclusion, according to TechCrunch, is that Apple is working on a way to present search results more in line with the user interface on the iPhone and iPod Touch. That makes a degree of sense, though it's a far cry from the initial headline.

Updated at 12:20 p.m.: I should have linked to this story from yesterday about Google tweaking its search interface for the iPhone, it points out how the search interface can be made easier to read.