Annie Lennox is partially why iPhone search defaults to Google and not Bing

Search in Safari on an iPhone
(Image credit: Future)

Bing is, in some circles, a kind of curse word. Some might say that using it is like Walking on Broken Glass, in fact — although while it’s gotten better over the years, you’ll still not get search results from Microsoft’s platform when you search for something on your iPhone.

It looks like we might have a reason why — Annie Lennox, star of Eurythmics and an incredible solo career, was part of the reason that Apple chose Google as its default search engine rather than Bing, albeit indirectly.

Sweet dreams (isn’t made of this)

According to a filing from Google in an anti-trust case against the U.S. government, a top dog at Apple tried to search for Annie Lennox on Bing — only to receive incorrect search results from the Microsoft search engine.

Bing, constantly a Thorn in My Side, when asked ‘Annie Lennox First Band’ by Apple’s Vice President of Machine Learning and AI Strategy John Gianandrea, answered ‘Eurythmics’. To the average person, this would probably seem to be correct — but it's not.

Rather, Lennox’s first band was The Tourists, a band that was a success in its own right — and not one that a search engine should have forgotten, and not one that should have been The First Cut.

Less than happy with both the inaccuracy of Bing’s search results and the wider issues he had with the platform from previous discussions between Apple and Microsoft, Giannandrea continued to use Google as the default search engine for Apple’s best iPhones.

Google’s case continues

This might seem like just a weird anecdote in an otherwise boring lawsuit, but it’s actually an important element that demonstrates Apple’s decision to choose Google wasn’t an arbitrary one, or one bought by Google  — there was testing that showed Google to be the better search engine.

It’s all a part of a case that sees Google and the U.S. Government work out Google’s dominance in the search market, and Apple has been dragged in thanks to the incredible number of users that its iOS platform brings in as a result of the default search engine choice. It looks to find out if Google had an unfair advantage over the competition — and given that the competition couldn’t answer a basic question, it looks like Google might have a good case on its hands.

It’s also a vicious indictment of the performance of Bing’s search engine results — although it should be noted that the search engine can now get the question right when you ask it ‘Annie Lennox first band’. So Don’t Let It Bring You Down Bing, it looks like things are getting better.

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Tammy Rogers
Senior Staff Writer

As iMore's Senior Staff writer, Tammy uses her background in audio and Masters in screenwriting to pen engaging product reviews and informative buying guides. The resident audiophile (or audio weirdo), she's got an eye for detail and a love of top-quality sound. Apple is her bread and butter, with attention on HomeKit and Apple iPhone and Mac hardware. You won't find her far away from a keyboard even outside of working at iMore – in her spare time, she spends her free time writing feature-length and TV screenplays. Also known to enjoy driving digital cars around virtual circuits, to varying degrees of success. Just don't ask her about AirPods Max - you probably won't like her answer.