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Apple reportedly acquires Cue to fuel battle against Google Now

Likely paid between $35m and $60m for personal assistant app
Fri Oct 04 2013, 12:16
iOS 7 side by side on the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5C

SOFTWARE DEVELOPER Apple reportedly has acquired iOS personal assistant app Cue, likely in order to compete with Google Now.

Cue is, or we should say was, a personal assistant app for iOS similar to Google's Now service. The app collated information from emails, contacts and calendars, and prepared "an overview of your upcoming events by linking together related phone numbers, addresses, tickets, invitations, receipts, files, and more".

Users could also integrate Facebook, Dropbox, Twitter and Reddit accounts into the service if they subscribed to the app's premium plan, priced at $50 per year.

Apple has yet to confirm the acquisition, instead reeling off its usual spiel of "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans."

However, the Cue website seems to confirm the news, with the homepage having been replaced with a message from the applications team explaining that the app is no longer available.

The message reads, "We appreciate all of the support from you, our users, as Cue has grown over the last few years. However, the Cue service is no longer available. Cue Premium users who registered through the website will receive a prorated refund.

"Cue Premium users registered though the iPhone App can request a refund through iTunes. In accordance with our privacy policy, your data and personal information will not be stored or transferred; it has been permanently deleted.

"We apologize for any inconvenience this might cause you. It's been an incredible journey that wouldn't have been possible without your loyal support."

However, Techcrunch got hold of some additional information, and reported that the firm picked up Cue for between "$35m and $60m". It is still unclear what Apple plans to do with the service.

The website also reported that Dropbox was eyeing Cue, but Apple beat it to the punch. µ


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