Google Now could meet its match with Apple 'Proactive' in iOS 9


Apple is reportedly looking to expand beyond Siri with a Google Now competitor codenamed "Proactive," and it could debut on iOS 9.

Apple has been working towards making the Google-competitive software a reality for many years, according to a report from 9to5Mac, and it could make its debut at Apple's WWDC 2015 conference, which kicks off June 8.

Similar in function to Google Now, Proactive will reportedly provide information depending on data and usage patterns it picks up on.

Siri has long been the "intelligent personal assistant" for Apple devices since the iPhone 4S, but Proactive will apparently be a much deeper system integration: a new iOS layer altogether, rather than another app. It will reportedly replace the Spotlight pulldown menu and situate itself to the left of the home screen, like the Spotlight of yesteryear.

Proactive is said to pull data from multiple sources, including information from Siri, Calendar, Passbook, Contacts, and various unnamed third-party apps.

AR Maps and more

Proactive will also reportedly focus heavily on improving Maps' Points of Interest feature, and could include an augmented reality view to identify or suggest potential POIs. It sounds pretty nifty: Users could hold up their iPhone towards a restaurant, for example, and an augmented reality view of the menu would appear.

A new feature called "Browse Around Me" is also in the mix, one that would show a map with more personalized results based on previous searches or individual preferences. It may be this feature we see when iOS 9 launches, sources said, with Apple saving the AR Maps view for a later date.

Finally, Apple is said to be working on a third-party Siri API codenamed "Breadcrumbs." This would allow developers to integrate their applications with iOS search results and Siri, though not so deeply that information is mixed up and user data is sent to the wrong apps.

9to5Mac offered the example that if a user watches a certain section of Netflix frequently, that section could be opened by Siri, instead of having to navigate through the whole app.