Apple has reportedly acquired Cue, a personal assistant app. The Cue service has been shut down, and the app pulled from the App Store. Cue worked much like Google Now, displaying context-aware information about a user's day from email, calendar appointments, reminders, and others. Cue could hook in to Google, iCloud, Dropbox, Evernote, and others to find what it needed. Apple was cagey in their comments to CNET:
Seemingly confirming that a deal was made, an Apple spokesperson said it "buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans."
The purchase of Cue would help Apple improve the "Today" section of the iOS notification center. "Today" already surfaces your calendar information based on time and place, and even lets you know how long travelling to a frequently-visited location might take. Adding Cue's abilities to this would make this feature even more useful, as well as using that content in a way that Cue never could: integrated deeply with iOS. If Apple did indeed purchase Cue, it's likely that we'll have to wait until the next major iOS update at least before any noticeable changes are seen.