Report: Apple acquired personal assistant app Cue

Report: Apple acquired personal assistant app Cue

Summary: Apple is veering into Yahoo-like territory when it comes to startup acquisitions lately.

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TOPICS: Mobility, Apple, Apps, iOS
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The sudden shutdown of personal assistant Cue spurred many news reports and speculation on Thursday, and now we have a better understanding about what happened.

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It looks like Cue has some new ownership: Apple.

TechCrunch reported that it had confirmed with Cupertino that Apple did indeed make the acquisition. Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed, but TC speculated the price tag was anywhere between $35 million and $60 million.

The Cue team confirmed via its website on Thursday that its service is no longer available, and Premium subscribers will receive a prorated refund upon request via iTunes.

However, upon searching for the app, iTunes responded that the app is no longer available.

While the iPhone maker has made it a policy of not making waves (or even publicly announcing) its acquisitions, Apple has been drawing a great deal of attention toward its M&A department over the last few months.

Looking at the list of some of the more recent acquisitions, it is evident that Apple is keen on strengthening its mobile software capabilities -- notably around mapping.

Here's a glance at a few of those major purchases:

  • WiFiSlam, a mapping app that uses only ambient WiFi signals that are already present in buildings
  • Locationary, a Canadian big data firm that owns a platform for merging and simplifying business listing data
  • HopStop, an online service offering public transit directions in cities around the world, complete with station information, timetables and more
  • Embark, a mobile app development company focusing on mass transit maps, directions, and alerts in real-time
  • AlgoTrim, a Swedish company specializing in compression technologies to optimize memory handling in mobile devices
  • Passif, a Bay Area-based maker of low-power switch-based wireless transceivers

Topics: Mobility, Apple, Apps, iOS

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3 comments
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  • Siri has a new boyfriend...

    ... and his name is Cue.
    BillDem
  • Siri is still around? Well, it's not as alluring as when it first came out,

    and I doubt that she could find a "boyfriend" anymore. ;)
    adornoe
  • Siri was always a gimmick

    When it first came out, I saw Apple product users all talking into their devices. They looked and sounded ridiculous, esp. when they had to repeat more than once their commands or questions. Now I hardly ever see anyone, including Google Now users, talking into their devices. This might be useful for cars (although you should be driving and not distracting yourself morons!!!) but so far is only a gimmick.

    Once a more AI interface comes about and you can actually interact with it, voice will truly find a home in the mass market.
    Rann Xeroxx