Apple has been working on a killer feature called “Proactive” that could topple Google Now. However, Apple is reportedly hesitant to release the said feature.
There’s a reason why Apple is the most valuable company in the world. Apple is apparently working hard all these years to make its products and services better. 9to5Mac reveals that Apple is planning to launch a killer feature dubbed “Proactive,” which will compete with Google’s Google Now, a smart personal assistant used on Android and Chrome.
Sources with knowledge of Apple’s plans told 9to5Mac that Proactive will tap on Apple’s Siri, Contacts, Calendar, Passbook and other third-party apps on iOS. Similar to Google Now, Proactive will reportedly accurate information based on a user’s data and patterns. However, the feature will respect the privacy of its users, sources said.
Apparently, Apple has been working on the feature for many years—a project that involves numerous man hours, tireless core integration with iOS apps, and acquisitions of app developers and startups such as Cue. Spotlight, which is now used on iOS devices, is said to be an early result of Proactive. Apple is likely to introduce Proactive at the Worldwide Developers Conference on June 8.
Proactive will be a core feature of iOS, becoming a new layer in operating system and replacing the standard Spotlight menu on the iOS home screen. Users can access the feature on the left side of the home screen. Sources said that Spotlight has not been used frequently because it is hidden by default. Proactive, however, can still be accessed using the pulldown and left swipes gestures.
Additionally, Proactive will have a search bar and a user interface that displays news and notifications from iOS apps, Contacts, and Maps. An interesting feature is the capability to learn a user’s habits. For example, if a user opens his or her Facebook app at 8 AM, Proactive will display a button every 8 AM so that the user won’t have to open the Facebook app. Similarly, if the user calls his father every Friday at 5PM, a bubble to “Call Dad” will appear around that time every Friday.
Another killer feature is augmented reality. Sources said that Proactive will also have a new Points of Interest (POI) system that offers an augmented reality view for local listings and feature dubbed “Browse Around Me.” Basically, when a user points his or her iPhone on a location, the Maps application will display a virtual view of restaurants and stores in the area.
While Proactive sounds impressive, sources said that Apple is still hesitant to launch the aforementioned features together. Kim Vorrath, Apple’s Vice President of Product Management for iOS and OS X, is reportedly reluctant to launch Proactive and its ambitious set of capabilities. So, it’s also possible that Apple will launch each feature gradually over time. Proactive’s features could also end up as upgrades to Apple’s existing apps such as Calendar, Maps, Siri, and Spotlight.
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