Tag Archive for ‘Search’

Brave Acquires Tailcat to Power Privacy-Focused Search Engine ➝

From the announcement:

Under the hood, nearly all of today’s search engines are either built by, or rely on, results from Big Tech companies. In contrast, the Tailcat search engine is built on top of a completely independent index, capable of delivering the quality people expect, but without compromising their privacy. Tailcat does not collect IP addresses or use personally identifiable information to improve search results.

I signed up for the waitlist. I’ve been using DuckDuckGo for years and have been very happy, but I’ll still give this alternative a try to see how it compares.

➝ Source: brave.com

The New App Store ➝

Faster review times, subscription pricing, and search ads — all of which would be huge news on their own — are all coming to the App Store. I think these changes will be good overall. The faster review times give developers a little more assurance that bug fixes will go live in a timely manner and search ads will help developers find a steady stream of new customers. I’m still a little lukewarm on the subscription pricing change, though.

My biggest fear is that developers will ask too much for their apps and I’ll be forced to pay an unreasonable monthly fee in order to continue using them. In an ideal world, for me at least, developers of high-quality productivity apps will charge a yearly fee at a price point similar to what they charge to purchase the app today.

I’m excited to see how these changes play out, but I expect they’ll result in a more healthy ecosystem for developers and users alike. And with announcements like this coming the week before WWDC, it feels like we’re in for one hell of a keynote. Phil Schiller even referenced this at the beginning of his call with John Gruber:

We’ve got a bunch of App Store/developer-related announcements for WWDC next week, but frankly, we’ve got a busy enough keynote that we decided we’re not going to cover those in the keynote. And rather, just cover them in the afternoon and throughout the week.

I’m really glad Phil Schiller was put in charge of the App Store.

Spotlight and Siri’s Sibling Rivalry ➝

Stephen Hackett:

Google Now, Alexa and Cortana have all removed the boundaries between what information is local and what’s not. Apple’s not quite there with iOS 9, but I think iOS 10 could push it to the next level. Why maintain two services, with overlapping and somewhat confusing feature sets, when a single, unified experience could get the job done?

It would make perfect sense for Apple to merge Siri and Spotlight alongside the introduction of the rumored Siri SDK.

The App Store and Retail Co-Op ➝

A great piece by John Gruber where he equates paid App Store search results to paid placement on grocery store endcaps. Very clever.

Paid App Store Search ➝

Daniel Jalkut, writing about Bloomberg’s recent report of paid placement in App Store search results:

Allowing third parties to pay for placement in the App Store would not contribute to Apple’s justifications for the App Store in any way. Who benefits from such a change? The businesses paying for the placement, presumably. It’s hard to see how paid placement would consistently benefit either Apple or its direct customers. It’s unlikely that paid listings would be used to highlight apps that are in line with Apple’s other goals for the store.

There’s just too many downsides associated with charging developers for placement in App Store search results. I would be shocked if Apple made a move like this.

Apple’s App Store Gets a Smarter Search Engine ➝

Sarah Perez, writing for TechCrunch:

A number of mobile app developers and industry observers recently noticed a significant change in the way the Apple App Store’s search algorithms are returning results. Developers say that, following a series of shifts that took place beginning on November 3, app search results now appear to be more intelligent and far more relevant – especially among the top results – than in previous months.

This seems like a long overdue improvement. Developers and users alike have been complaining about the App Store’s poor search results for years. I hope we see more changed like this soon.

New Apple TV Will Feature Universal Search, Start At $149 ➝

John Paczkowski, reporting for BuzzFeed News:

Sources familiar with Apple’s plans say that a cornerstone of the the company’s new set-top box is a universal search feature that will enable searches across multiple streaming video services as well as Apple’s iTunes Store. Instead of searching the catalogs of multiple video services one at a time for a particular movie, you’ll now be able to search all — or most of them — at once and then choose the service on which you’d like to watch it. […]

One last thing: The new Apple TV will start at $149, the lower of the two price points 9to5Mac first reported.

Myself, last week, predicting the new Apple TV’s major features:

The Apple TV will gain a refreshed user interface and hardware design, an updated remote control, iOS 9-dependent features like universal search, a developer SDK, and App Store.

As for the price point, it’s a bit higher than I’d like. But considering the devices’ powerful internals and impressive features, I can’t say I’m surprised. I’m also not too keen on the possibility of Apple offering two Apple TV models differentiated by internal storage, but Mark Gurman claims that Apple’s at least considered it. Let’s hope Apple settled on a single 16GB model for simplicity’s sake.

And count me in with John Gruber about the curious case of the current Apple TV. It would make sense for Apple to replace the current model with this new one, but more than doubling the price from $69 to $149 is quite the jump. I could see Apple keeping the old model around to retain its low entry price, but without App Store support it’d feel like the non-retina MacBook Pro — something that by all accounts, almost no one should buy.

Nate Swanner on Switching to DuckDuckGo ➝

He gets it. Bangs are the best thing to happen to web search since Google Images. Everybody should just switch to DuckDuckGo.