Apple Search Engine May Be Delayed As Key Staff Move To Google

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Apple users may have to wait longer for the tech giants’ own search engine, as staff working on the project have reportedly left Apple to join Google. According to a report by AppleInsider, Laserlike startup founders Anand Shukla, Srinivasan Venkatachary and Steven Baker have left Apple’s project to join Google.

For those who don’t know, Apple acquired Laserlike about four years ago with the aim of improving its web search technology. The startup was found by a trio of former Google search engineers to recommend websites to people based on their interests and browsing history.

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Laserlike was acquired by Apple in 2018, but the deal was not made public until the following year. The company’s three founders were acquired as part of the deal, and they eventually led a 200-strong search team at Apple. Srinivasan Venkatachary has now returned to Google and is reportedly the company’s new vice president of engineering, according to a media report.

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Venkatachary reports to James Manyika, senior vice president of technology and society. Baker and Shukla are now both part of Manyika’s team.

However, it’s unclear whether all three left Apple at the same time, or whether Venkatachary is the most recent departure, the report said. Rumors that Apple would develop its own search engine gained popularity after the release of iOS 14 in 2020.

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Siri suggestions were then reportedly forwarded through Apple’s Spotlight search service, rather than being passed on to Google, the report said.

(with input form IANS)