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Apple rumored to have bought smart-assistant maker Cue

Apple's said to have purchased Cue, a San Francisco-based smart assistant service aimed at mobile devices.


Less than a day after personal assistant service Cue announced plans to shut down, a new report points to Apple as the reason.

AppleInsider says the mobile service, which launched last June, was snapped up by Apple for a price as high as $35 million.

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."

Cue did not respond to a request for comment.

Cue provided quick information panels, similar to Google Now, which were compiled from e-mail, contact, and calendar information. In its own words, the service "prepares an overview of your upcoming events by linking together related phone numbers, addresses, tickets, invitations, receipts, files, and more."

Users could also integrate various online accounts -- including Facebook, Dropbox, Twitter, and Reddit -- to aggregate activity. Additional services could be added with the company's $50 a year (or $5 a month) premium plans.

If true, Apple could be looking to bolster the new "today" view implemented in iOS 7's notification center. That feature creates a summary of information that changes dynamically based on what's on a user's location and calendar. It also shows snapshots of reminders and stocks from other built-in iOS apps, though is far less extensive or customizable compared with Google's technology, which is baked into Android devices and available within its iOS search app.

Update at 12:17 p.m. PT with comment from Apple.

Update at 12:44 p.m. PT: Citing sources, TechCrunch says the company was snapped up for "between $50 million to $60 million," which would be markedly higher than the $35 to $45 million reported by AppleInsider. That's around what the company is reported to have paid for Chomp, the app search engine it picked up last February.