Tongues have been wagging recently, and bloggers big and small were all over the rumor that Steve Jobs was interested in developing an Apple search engine. Now it turns out the rumors were greatly exaggerated.
The grapevine?which includes TechCrunch and PC World?was buzzing about Apple's dissatisfaction with the user experience of Google's search engine, which was integrated directly into the Safari browser and iPhone. It made a lot of sense to pundits at first, since the almighty fruit-monikered company has plenty of people using its Mobile Me service and access to lots of search-related stats. Monetizing that would seem like a no-brainer. And let's not forget that Google's applications for office-related tasks have a nearly Apple-like design sensibility. We haven't even talked about the iPhone-hunting Android phone yet.
But if Apple was interested in branching out that way, the company would've been looking to hire new search experts and engineers, and it hasn't been. At best, the company might be considering its own user-friendly overlay to run on top of the Google engine, but even that is far from confirmed.
In the meantime, Google debuted a new iPhone app that allows people to use voice recognition for search queries. Was this a bid to appease the computer company or simply a coincidence? The new app, which was slated for release over the weekend, has yet to show up in the App store.
Whatever the drama might be behind the scenes, what is certain for now is that Google remains the big kahuna in search, if not apps.
The rumor mill, undaunted, still produces "what if" scenarios. I suppose the prospect of anyone trying to take on Google is exciting, and the possibility that it could've been Apple was just way too juicy to give up.
Fear not, iFans. If the enormous success of Mac desktops, laptops, MP3 players and cell phones aren't enough to keep you going, and the search rumor gets killed for good, then I'm sure it won't be long before someone thinks up another dream product. So what's next? Cameras? Sportswear? Automobiles? Who's on board for the first-ever Apple hybrid car? In a choice of white, black, or perhaps special-edition green, of course.