Apple and Google seemingly compete in almost every area, with smartphones, mapping, operating systems, web browsers and more offered up by each company, but as yet Apple hasn't tried to take on Google's search engine.
It might have plans to though, as it's added a new page to its support site detailing a web crawler dubbed Applebot (opens in new tab).
Web crawlers are used for web indexing and as such are key to any search engine and this is the first time Apple has confirmed that it has one of its own.
According to Apple it's used by Siri and Spotlight Suggestions among other products, rather than them just routing queries through existing search engines as was previously assumed.
Of course Apple using an in-house web crawler for its existing services is a far cry from it launching a full-fledged search engine, but it's always a possibility, especially as a deal between Apple and Google which makes Google's search engine the default option in Safari is set to expire soon and Apple has previously posted a job advert relating to 'Apple Search.'
So will an Apple search engine debut with the next version of iOS or OS X? Probably not, but it would give Apple and Google one more area to compete in, which is something they seem to enjoy doing.