Sounds like Siri and Spotlight are about to get a lot more helpful when iOS 9 is launched later this year. According to the Apple rumour-mill, iOS 9 is going to include Apple’s response to Google Now, the helpful prompts and contextual information Android phones offer based on what stye know about you. Like reminding you of travel time to your next meeting or tasks to be completed in your local vicinity.
During my brief fling with Android last year, I only managed to scratch the surface of this, as the majority of its functions seemed to apply to the US only. But every so often, a reminder or prompt would appear on screen that was really, really useful.
If Apple can offer something as intelligent and helpful for the iOS platform, then I’ll be one happy user.
Code-named (apparently) “Proactive”, the service will:
leverage Siri, Contacts, Calendar, Passbook, and third-party apps to create a viable competitor to Google Now for Android devices. Like Google Now, Proactive will automatically provide timely information based on the user’s data and device usage patterns, but will respect the user’s privacy preferences, according to sources familiar with Apple’s plans.
If this can take the information on my phone and in the cloud and play it back to me in a timely and proactive way, I can see a lot of potential for this. What would I want it to do for me? Some initial thoughts on this:
- On the way to a meeting with a client, the phone could bring up their LinkedIn profiles to remind me of key details about them and their career.
- Knowing I have a flight later in the day, it could warn me of any public transport issues well in advance, so I can find an alternative route.
- If it knows what’s on my Amazon wish list, for example, it could notify me when items are on sale there or even elsewhere.
I use Kayak for the plethora of travel that’s in my personal and business schedule. The updates from Kayak about delays and disruptions are excellent and frequently arrive on-screen before the train company or airlines decides to announce anything. Right down to gate changes at the airport.
(Seriously – add your travel arrangements to Kayak. It’s free and so incredibly useful!)
The possibilities here are endless. I hope Apple can deliver something snappy and accurate and that it plays nice with the Apple Watch, which is where all my notifications arrive these days. I wonder how much the notifications will arrive on-screen and how it will use Siri to actually speak to me…
I also hope it doesn’t drain battery life too much, though the isn’t much of a problem for me with the iPhone 6 Plus, I can imagine the frustration of iPhone 5 users if this useful functionality comes at the cost of battery-drain.
Bottom line: more proactive notifications from my iOS devices would be very welcome. Let’s see what Apple deliver later this year.