Apple seems to have acquired Cue, a former personal assistant application for the iPhone. TechCrunch says that the purchase price was in the realm of $40 million, and AppleInsider initially reported the rumor this morning. Cue’s service shut down yesterday, leading to the acquisition chatter. The company gave its “sincerest thanks” to users, but did not provide detail behind the closure…
The application was sort of a mixture of iOS 7’s Notification Center “Today” View, Google Now, and Siri. It analyzed a user’s social network connections, calendar appointments, and contacts to create a customized daily schedule for its users. It would not be surprising to see Apple take the personal assistant technology from the app and embed it deeply into a future version of iOS.
Cue’s (former) CEO Daniel Gross recently sat down for a video with Robert Scoble to discuss the application (above). Giving a little bit more context on the app’s functionality, here is a bit from LifeHacker‘s review from 2012:
Cue takes all that info and puts it into a scheduled format. For example, if you’re attending a Facebook event, it’ll show it in your day, give you a link to map the location, and give you the contact information of the person planning it. If you have an event on your calendar, it’ll search your email for related emails on the subject and make them accessible right from there, along with the contact cards of the people you emailed with (seriously, it’s genius the way it figures these things out). It’ll scan your email and recognize package delivery dates, concert tickets, airline reservations, and more. All you need to do is scroll through your day to see all the relevant information you could possibly need.
The app has also been removed from the App Store. Apple is yet to give a strong confirmation or denial regarding the purported Cue acquisition, but the company did give CNET the typical “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans” line.