The tensions between Google and Apple are plain and clear. The companies' fates were sealed in 2008 when Google released Android onto the world, an alternative to Apple's then-fledgling iPhone OS, now known as iOS. Steve Jobs went ballistic, pledging "thermonuclear" war on Google, claiming that Eric Schmidt, who had sat on Apple's board during the inception of the iPhone, had ripped Apple off.
Like a troubled marriage, the two giants have muddled through until 2013, five years after Schmidt's "betrayal."
An end may be insight, however. Apple recently ditched Google Maps and removed the pre-installed YouTube application from iOS, the biggest movement in the companies' tempestuous relationship so far. Google Maps was replaced with Apple Maps, while YouTube is still offered as a third-party download. The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple is conversing with Yahoo over possible content deals that can be brokered. While the talks are in their early stages, they demonstrate Apple's desire to remove themselves from Google's grip.
Siri, Apple's virtual "assistant" on iOS, already uses Yahoo for weather and sports data. According to the report, the pair may be looking to include content from Yahoo News in later versions of iOS, possibly in a standalone Apple-designed news app which could rival Flipboard or Pulse. iOS does not currently include any sort of news, and asking Siri what is happening in the news returns a Google Search option. In the future, asking Siri "What is happening in the world?" may bring up a list of Yahoo headlines.
Yahoo recently purchased Summly, an app that summarizes news articles into 400 characters. Summly's technology could be used in iOS to return short and concise news results when Siri is asked.
However, the best search engine available is still Google. Google's search results are unparalleled in their accuracy, making Google the standard search engine of the web. Microsoft currently provide Yahoo with search results, and Apple may be talking to Microsoft about integrating Bing. Bing is supported on iOS, but it isn't the default engine (because of Google's deep pockets). If Apple starts relying on Yahoo more, there is no reason why they can't integrate Bing into iOS in a more prominent fashion. Eddy Cue, Apple's VP of Internet software, did state that Bing's search results must be on par with Google's before Apple considers a deal.
Marissa Mayer, Yahoo's new CEO, is actively trying to increase Yahoo's presence on mobile devices. Yahoo does not compete with Apple on any fronts – unlike Google or Microsoft – making it the ideal partner. The deal between Yahoo and Apple could be mutually beneficial in that Apple gets to move away from Google, and Yahoo would see a serious increase in the usage of its services.