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Bing & Yahoo Prompting iPhone Users To Switch Search Engines

We knew that Bing was added as an option in the default search engines used on the new Apple iPhone iOS4. But if you try to searching on either Bing or Yahoo when your default search provider is Google, both will prompt you to switch to their own search engine.

Not only will you be asked to switch, if you click okay, the switch will happen easily and automatically. Changing search providers on normal browser toolbars is not this easy, but on the iPhone, it can happen without a user really thinking about it.

Go to Yahoo.com on your iPhone using iOS4. Note, I personally tested this on my new iPhone 4 (yea I waited on line this morning). Conduct a search and a prompt will come up. Notice, Google is my current search provider:

Bing & Yahoo Prompting Users to Switch

Clicking “Okay” will automatically switch my search provider in the top right box from Google to Yahoo:

Bing & Yahoo Prompting Users to Switch

The same applies from Yahoo to Bing:

Bing & Yahoo Prompting Users to Switch
Bing & Yahoo Prompting Users to Switch

Google is the only one of the big three not to prompt users to switch to them on the iPhone.

Note, to change your search provider manually, go to settings then click on safari and select search engine and pick your favorite search engine:

Bing & Yahoo Prompting Users to Switch

Postscript: Supposedly, this is not a new feature and has been how this has been handled since 2009. A Yahoo spokesperson told us:

This is a Yahoo! Search feature, and not specific to the new iPhone OS. If you conduct a search on the iPhone/iPod through Yahoo!, and have another default search engine set on the browser, we’ll prompt the user to see if they’d like to make Yahoo! Search default. If the user selects no, they won’t see the message again.

This is something that we enabled on the iPhone in November of 2009; we tested it earlier in 2008/2009, and then re-enabled it after last year’s Yahoo! mobile homepage launch.

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