New reports suggest that Apple may be revealing a service they have been working on for years, that would tie several apps together for deeper search results.
Proactive is the codename for a service that Apple has reportedly been working on for a few years at this point, and we may see its debut as early as in iOS 9. The new feature would combine Siri, contacts, calendar, Passbook, and even third-party apps into search results, making it similar to Google Now. To ensure users can easily find this, Apple may be bringing back the page to the left of the homescreen. 9to5Mac reports:
Interestingly, Proactive will be found to the left of the first Home screen, just as Spotlight was prior to iOS 7’s major redesign. According to sources, Apple’s usage metrics for iOS suggest that Spotlight is not used as frequently as it could be because it is hidden above the Home screen without any indication of its location. Adding the feature back to the left of the Home screen will presumably boost usage, and consequently, take searches away from Google’s window within Safari.
Within Proactive, users will see a dedicated search bar which will allow them to utilize standard Spotlight type features. Below this, the app will show context based off information it collects from the device’s contacts, calendars, and other apps. Here is where users will be able to see their boarding pass around the time of their flight, view upcoming calendar appointments, and much more. Maps will also be a large focal point of Proactive, as Apple may allow users to see an augmented reality view of what is around them as part of a new feature called “Browse Around Me.”
Finally, Apple is said to be releasing a limited API for Siri, which carries a codename of ‘Breadcrumbs” currently.
According to sources, Apple is preparing to allow developers to integrate their applications into both iOS’s search results and Siri, which has been redesigned to be more colorful in iOS 9, akin to its Apple Watch interface. While Apple has worked on a full Siri API that lets Siri access third-party app content, sources say the company is more likely to introduce a scaled-down service for developers codenamed “Breadcrumbs.”
According to 9to5Mac none of these features are guaranteed to be found in iOS 9, as Apple plans to focus on stability this time around. Apple may introduce these new services in a scaled down version at first, with expansion of the capabilities over time.