With iOS 9, Apple wants to reimagine how information from apps is exposed to users. For a long time, iOS apps have largely been treated as data silos – utilities that kept gaining design improvements and powerful functionalities as iOS grew, but ultimately unable to bring their data outside the confines of their sandbox. Following in the footsteps of iOS 8's adoption of extensions, Apple's plan to further open up iOS is deceptively simple: just let users search for what they need.
Behind the scenes, the reality of iOS 9 search is going to be a little more complex than that.
Federico Viticci has an incredible deep dive — like only he can — into iOS 9's new search capabilities and just how they are implemented over at MacStories.
He also raises some very valid concerns, such as how iOS 9 search can succeed given Apple's stance on data privacy:
The company's inclination to collect as little data as possible may play to their disadvantage here: by not comparing data between different Apple services and prioritizing privacy over massive data collection, the risk is that web results in iOS 9 search may be generic and not contextual enough. Apple wants to build a search feature that is ad-free and values privacy, but ads and extensive data collection were key to Google's success in offering a robust search engine at scale.
The whole piece is worth a read if you are interested in the future of iOS as a platform and indeed the future of apps and content discovery in general.