Apple Scrubs "Google" Name From Safari Search Button In iPhone OS 4S

Apple's move to ban Adobe's Flash-to-iPhone compiler elicited shrugs from Adobe and complaints from Adobe loyalists. Digging deeper into the OS reveals another, albeit less dramatic slight: Apple scrubbed Google's name from the new OS's Safari search button.

The iPad has the generic "search" button as well, and the Safari settings allow users to choose between Google or Yahoo! as their default search engines. The text in the search box at the top of the screen changes to read either "Google" or "Yahoo!," depending on which is selected, but the soft keyboard's search button does not bear any site's name.

Of course, stripping Google's name from the search doesn't come as much of a surprise to anyone who's been following the increasingly heated rivalry between the two companies, and disassociating iDevices with Google search could be step towards adopting Bing as the default iPhone search engine down the line.

While it makes sense for Apple to have a generic button as they move to a system with multiple search options, it also makes sense that they'd want to remove the most prominent instance of their rival's brand name from their OS. Sources have reported Google paying Apple as much as $100m a year in their search agreement, and though the terms of such an agreement are unknown, it seems likely that at some point they involved the iPhone keyboard bearing Google's name. It's anyone's guess as to whether Google didn't want to pony up what Apple was requesting for search exclusivity or if Apple pushed them out of an exclusivity agreement going forward.

This isn't the only way the rivalry has manifested itself this week. iAd, Apple's new mobile advertising platform, is Apple's attempt to beat Google to the lucrative mobile advertising space, and many people have read Steve Jobs' repeated call for "emotional" mobile ads as a remark on Google's decidedly unemotional search ads.

So while Google will still likely be performing your iPhone's searches (for now), Apple isn't going to go out of its way to remind you of the fact. For all of the changes in iPhone OS 4, Apple's slights of Adobe and Google make it clear that they want people to understand one thing very clearly: iPhone OS is theirs and theirs alone. [iLounge via Mac Rumors]

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