updated 09:55 am EDT, Thu June 2, 2011
Could change alerts based on travel time, events
Future versions of iOS or its apps could trigger calendar alerts based on location info, an Apple patent application hints. The company remarks that while iPhone calendar appointments often include details such as dates, times and addresses, alarms are usually based on preset times, rather than the circumstances of the event. Apple's concept would allow an iPhone to send an alert based on GPS data, setting a time that accommodates the travel distance involved.
Alerts could additionally be based on weather, transportation schedules, or current or historical traffic, giving a person extra time during rush hour, for example. Directions would be adjusted accordingly. Routes might even be tailored to crowd-sourced data, including events like movies, concerts, sports, public gatherings or store sales.
The application dates back to November 2009, but has only just been published. Unlike many Apple filings, the idea stands a realistic chance of making it into a shipping product. Apple has acknowledged that it is developing a "crowd-sourced traffic" service for iPhone users, which should debut in "the next couple of years." The company could conceivably build the technology into iOS 5, which will be previewed at WWDC next week.