Apple(s aapl) has reportedly spent at least $35 million for Cue, a personal assistant iOS app. TechCrunch reported the news on Thursday afternoon after Cue apparently shut down earlier in the day. A purchase rumor was also previously reported in the day by AppleInsider. Cue was originally called Greplin but renamed itself Cue in June of 2012.
Cue works similarly to Google(s goog) Now in that it accesses a user’s data such as email, contacts and more. Armed with that information, it can intelligently present useful contextual information such as air travel or dining reservations. Google Now does the same and can act upon that information, suggesting an earlier departure for an appointment based on travel, for example.
If Apple did buy Cue, the likely purpose is to bolster Siri to be more like, or better than, Google Now. Although Siri is excellent at what it does, it’s limited by the types of information it can access to assist an iOS user.