Apple is launching Proactive, which combines Contacts, Calendar, Passbook, and their powerful Siri tool as well as third-party apps to create a viable iOS contender to Google Now. Like Google Now, it provides users with real-time information relevant to their searches, and a new Siri API called Breadcrumbs to provide location-based data.
Since Apple integrated Wikipedia searches into Spotlight, they have seen a reduction in the number of Google clicks, which tells the company that their software is working. Proactive will be found to the left of the home screen in the new iOS 9, and will become a new layer within the Apple OS as well as replacing the Spotlight feature in the pulldown menu.
Metrics show that users don’t use Spotlight as much as they could because it is hidden up above the home screen. Moving Proactive to the left of home screen position will hopefully boost usage and reduce the number of Google searches within the Safari window. The Proactive results will focus on turning up news results as well as integrating the key iOs features of Maps, Contacts, and Apps.
Proactive will integrate with Calendar to trigger push notifications so that users won’t miss appointments. It can interface with the rest of your apps as well; for example, if a user has a flight coming up, Proactive will pull up the boarding pass saved in Passbooks and provide traffic information to let the user know what time to leave.
Additionally, Proactive can sense patters in commonly used apps. If a user always checks his email when he wakes up at 8 am, a button to access the email feature will pop up around 8 am. If that same user always calls his brother on Sundays at noon, a button will appear to “Call Brother”.
Proactive can also offer restaurant suggestions around breakfast, lunch, and dinner time based on the user’s location and recommendations from popular sites like Yelp. Essentially, Proactive will streamline the user experience and make interaction with iOS faster, smoother, and more intuitive.