Apple wants your iPhone to offer suggestions based on your travel itinerary

Apple has filed for a patent (number 20180300357) for “dynamic location search suggestions based on travel itineraries” that would allow your iPhone to make recommendations based on your travel plans.

In the patent filing, Apple notes that smartphones provide access to numerous sources of data and can run apps that organize and allow searching of information for specific topics. For example, weather apps may allow users to search for and/or select locations (e.g., cities) and to store the selected locations for use in retrieving information about local weather conditions, forecasts, radar, etc. Each time the app is opened, the local information can be updated for each of the stored locations.

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Other types of applications can perform similar operations to, for example, retrieve other types of local information for one or more selected locations each time an app is opened or activated from a background or hibernation state. In addition to allowing users to search for locations, some applications may allow the use of a current location, as detected through a global positioning satellite device or other positioning technique. 

Here’s Apple’s summary of the invention: “Methods, systems, and apparatus, including computer programs encoded on a computer storage medium, for retrieving local information on a user device include detecting itinerary information stored by a first application on a user device, and identifying a travel destination based on the detected itinerary information. 

“The travel destination is communicated to a second application executable on a user device, and the travel destination is stored in association with the second application. The second application is adapted to retrieve local information based on an identified geographic location, and local information for the travel destination is provided through the second application in response to a user interaction with the second application and based on a triggering threshold associated with the itinerary information.”

Of course, Apple files for — and is granted — lots of patents by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Many are for inventions that never see the light of day. However, you never can tell which ones will materialize in a real product.