Apple has been quietly working on its latest initiative, which will leverage Siri, Contacts, Calendar, Passbook, and other third-party apps under the codename “Proactive.” According to Mark Gurman’s recent article for 9to5Mac, this feature is being developed as a viable competitor to Google Now.
Proactive is the evolution of iOS’s Spotlight search feature with an extension of Siri’s “digital assistant” functionality. It will take cues from key iOS elements (Apps, Contacts, and Maps) to automatically populate itself with content that can be accessed via bubbles within the screen. This will include things like a bubble for event tickets in Passbook appearing at the time of the event, or a bubble for your favorite app that you access first thing every morning appearing exactly when you wake up.
While Apple does want third-party developers to integrate with Proactive, sources indicate that there are concerns over security. So to avoid the risk of a deeply integrated Siri misinterpreting words or context and sending personal data to the wrong third-party apps, Apple is reported to be releasing a scaled-down Siri API codenamed “Breadcrumbs.”
This will allow developers to index recently accessed parts of applications for quick recall, such as the sports page within a news application. The company is hoping to release a full-scale version of Siri, but this will not happen until all security concerns have been satisfied.
Many people are hoping that Proactive will be announced along with iOS 9’s introduction at the annual Worldwide Developers Conference on June 8th. However, Apple is reportedly keen to launch scaled-down incarnations of these features, with incremental improvements over time.