Skip to main content

Apple is reportedly building a Google Now rival into iOS 9

Apple is reportedly building a Google Now rival into iOS 9

Share this story

The latest scoop from 9to5Mac suggests that Apple is getting serious about taking on Google Now and providing users with information precisely when they need it. The report describes a "major new iOS initiative" that goes by the codename Proactive and pulls together data from Siri, Contacts, Calendar, Passbook, and third-party apps to assemble a personal assistant that's far smarter than Siri's current incarnation. 9to5Mac says Proactive will likely replace the current pull-down Spotlight feature and be found to the left of the primary iOS home screen. That's exactly where Spotlight was located prior to the huge overhaul that iOS underwent in 2013, and reduced usage has apparently convinced Apple to move it back to its former spot.

Update: Read the Apple iOS 9 review.

A search bar will retain Spotlight's current features, but it's the section below that's interesting. 9to5Mac says this will offer contextual information based on someone's location or usage habits. And yes, Apple's implementation sounds very similar to everything that Google Now does.

For example, if a user has a flight listed in her Calendar application and a boarding pass stored in Passbook, a bubble within the new Proactive screen will appear around flight time to provide quick access to the boarding pass. If a user has a calendar appointment coming up, a map view could appear with an estimated arrival time, directions, and a time to leave indicator based on traffic.

Proactive will also learn your routines when it comes to apps. If you call someone once a week or check Facebook and Twitter every morning, the screen will automatically display a shortcut to those apps at the appropriate times. 9to5Mac also says that Proactive will display nearby restaurants (along with ratings) during typical meal times. Apple has developed its own point-of-interest database for the project, and has even built what sounds like an augmented reality view that would let you point an iPhone's camera at a restaurant for menu information or at any street for a list of local businesses.

It all sounds very ambitious compared with what Siri is capable of today, and 9to5Mac cautions that Apple may scale back many of these plans and start with more modest feature additions in iOS 9 — if they appear at all. For the full story, don't miss 9to5Mac's full report on the development of Proactive. Apple's WWDC keynote takes place on June 8th.

Today’s Storystream

Feed refreshed Sep 24 Striking out

External Link
Emma RothSep 24
California Governor Gavin Newsom vetoes the state’s “BitLicense” law.

The bill, called the Digital Financial Assets Law, would establish a regulatory framework for companies that transact with cryptocurrency in the state, similar to New York’s BitLicense system. In a statement, Newsom says it’s “premature to lock a licensing structure” and that implementing such a program is a “costly undertaking:”

A more flexible approach is needed to ensure regulatory oversight can keep up with rapidly evolving technology and use cases, and is tailored with the proper tools to address trends and mitigate consumer harm.

Andrew WebsterSep 24
Look at this Thing.

At its Tudum event today, Netflix showed off a new clip from the Tim Burton series Wednesday, which focused on a very important character: the sentient hand known as Thing. The full series starts streaming on November 23rd.

The Verge
Andrew WebsterSep 24
Get ready for some Netflix news.

At 1PM ET today Netflix is streaming its second annual Tudum event, where you can expect to hear news about and see trailers from its biggest franchises, including The Witcher and Bridgerton. I’ll be covering the event live alongside my colleague Charles Pulliam-Moore, and you can also watch along at the link below. There will be lots of expected names during the stream, but I have my fingers crossed for a new season of Hemlock Grove.

Andrew WebsterSep 24
Looking for something to do this weekend?

Why not hang out on the couch playing video games and watching TV. It’s a good time for it, with intriguing recent releases like Return to Monkey Island, Session: Skate Sim, and the Star Wars spinoff Andor. Or you could check out some of the new anime on Netflix, including Thermae Romae Novae (pictured below), which is my personal favorite time-traveling story about bathing.

A screenshot from the Netflix anime Thermae Romae Novae.
Thermae Romae Novae.
Image: Netflix
Jay PetersSep 23
Twitch’s creators SVP is leaving the company.

Constance Knight, Twitch’s senior vice president of global creators, is leaving for a new opportunity, according to Bloomberg’s Cecilia D’Anastasio. Knight shared her departure with staff on the same day Twitch announced impending cuts to how much its biggest streamers will earn from subscriptions.

Tom WarrenSep 23
Has the Windows 11 2022 Update made your gaming PC stutter?

Nvidia GPU owners have been complaining of stuttering and poor frame rates with the latest Windows 11 update, but thankfully there’s a fix. Nvidia has identified an issue with its GeForce Experience overlay and the Windows 11 2022 Update (22H2). A fix is available in beta from Nvidia’s website.

External Link
If you’re using crash detection on the iPhone 14, invest in a really good phone mount.

Motorcycle owner Douglas Sonders has a cautionary tale in Jalopnik today about the iPhone 14’s new crash detection feature. He was riding his LiveWire One motorcycle down the West Side Highway at about 60 mph when he hit a bump, causing his iPhone 14 Pro Max to fly off its handlebar mount. Soon after, his girlfriend and parents received text messages that he had been in a horrible accident, causing several hours of panic. The phone even called the police, all because it fell off the handlebars. All thanks to crash detection.

Riding a motorcycle is very dangerous, and the last thing anyone needs is to think their loved one was in a horrible crash when they weren’t. This is obviously an edge case, but it makes me wonder what other sort of false positives we see as more phones adopt this technology.

External Link
Ford is running out of its own Blue Oval badges.

Running out of semiconductors is one thing, but running out of your own iconic nameplates is just downright brutal. The Wall Street Journal reports badge and nameplate shortages are impacting the automaker's popular F-series pickup lineup, delaying deliveries and causing general chaos.

Some executives are even proposing a 3D printing workaround, but they didn’t feel like the substitutes would clear the bar. All in all, it's been a dreadful summer of supply chain setbacks for Ford, leading the company to reorganize its org chart to bring some sort of relief.