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Google once asked Apple to preload its search app on iOS

Illustration by Cath Virginia / The Verge

In late 2018, Google CEO Sundar Pichai floated a bold idea to Apple CEO Tim Cook. Cook had just told Pichai he wanted to be “deep, deep partners, deeply connected where our services end and yours begin,” according to notes from the meeting. Pichai responded with a proposal: What if Apple preinstalled a Google Search app on every iOS device?

Exactly what that would have looked like — a full-blown app, a native widget, some reinvention of the Spotlight feature — is hard to say. But Pichai’s case to Apple, revealed during the CEO’s testimony in the US v. Google antitrust trial today, was simple. Google had seen that the Google app and widget were popular on Android and drove people to do more searching. More Google searches on Apple…

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