Just when you thought it was safe to stop talking about Apple acquisitions! As reported by AppleInsider and TechCrunch, Cupertino has snapped up another company: the folks behind personal assistant app Cue.
Cue, which began its life as a startup called Greplin, was a service (with an attendant iOS app) that operated as a personal assistant, drawing information from a variety of social networking accounts like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. This allowed users to search through the various information streams without having to log into each service individually.
It’s not hard to see what the appeal might be for Apple. The company’s invested time and energy in beefing up the capabilities of Siri, its voice-based virtual assistant, and in integrating services like Facebook, Twitter, and Linked In into its operating systems. It’s not hard to imagine Apple providing a built-in capability in its operating systems to easily and seamlessly search through all of those social networking services.
Cue’s website currently says that the service is no longer available; those users who were paying a monthly fee for the premium version of the account will receive a prorated refund. Any data stored on the company’s servers has been deleted.
According to TechCrunch, Apple paid somewhere in the range of $50 to $60 million for the app and service, which had so far received most of its funding from venture capitalists.
This is just the latest in a long line of Apple acquisitions in 2013, which have included several transit and map-related companies, a media search service, a maker of low-power Bluetooth chips, and a firm specializing in data compression.
Updated at 1:41 p.m. PT with report from AppleInsider.