Apple's Proactive for iOS 9 to challenge Google Now

With iOS 9, Apple is all set to take on Google Now with a new iOS initiative internally called Proactive.

With iOS 9, Apple is all set to take on Google Now with a new iOS initiative internally called Proactive. According to 9To5Mac, Proactive will leverage existing features such as Siri, Contacts, Calendar, Passbook, and third-party apps 'to create a viable competitor to Google Now'.

Apple had started laying the groundwork for Proactive after acquiring the personal assistant app, Cue, in 2013. It is said to be an evolution of iOS' Spotlight search feature along with the acquisition of some other small app developers, integrated with some core iOS apps. Basically, Apple want its users to rely less on Google. Sources related to the matter, also told 9To5Mac that Apple’s internal iOS usage metrics indicate that Google clicks have indeed fallen since the release of iOS 8.

Proactive may replace the pulldown Spotlight menu that is now found on the iOS home screen. Spotlight's location kept it hidden and so people couldn't easily spot it. Now, the company plans to add Proactive in such a way that it boosts usage and takes away searches from Google's window within Safari. "Some builds of iOS 9 allow Proactive to be accessed both with pulldown and left-of-Home screen gestures, so it’s possible that pulldown Spotlight-style access will be retained," sources further told the news site.

The new Proactive screen will feature a dedicated Search bar at the top allowing people to search by names, apps and so on. It will reportedly put greater emphasis on displaying news stories as search results.

Proactive will be integrated with the Calendar to popup reminders and alerts, suggest restaurants and so on. "It will also work with Apple’s Maps application to display personally relevant points of interest using an augmented reality interface, and integrate with a third-party Siri API codenamed Breadcrumbs," adds the report.

Citing sources, the report adds, "Apple has explored new or expanded deals with Foursquare, Yelp, and Nokia’s HERE, the company ultimately decided to build its own new POI system for Proactive. Apple has developed a pair of new features around the POI system: an augmented reality view for local listings, as well as a feature dubbed 'Browse Around Me'.

Earlier this month, reports surfaced talking about Facebook's internal search engine. This means users will be able to search and access content within Facebook, without the need for ‘Googling’ or ever leaving the social network. Facebook is used by many digital news organisations to share content and this move will help solidify its position as a content host.

This new change by digital companies clearly shows how they are now looking at ways to steer away from the search engine.

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