Apple Developing Social Networking App for iPhone
A patent discovered by Patently Apple reveals that Apple is developing a social networking app for the iPhone known tentatively as iGroups.
The app seems geared toward meeting up with contacts in your network. This is facilitated in part by a new feature Apple is calling "virtual GPS," which uses wireless proximity tools to add location-based functionality to the application.
While the technology is spelled out pretty clearly in the patent, we still don't know just how Apple plans to implement all this. Do they aim to compete with other location-based networks, or is this a unique app? From the looks of things, it seems like it may facilitate interactions that aren't currently possible with existing local networks like Foursquare and Gowanus.
More questions we'd like to see answered: Will iGroups be a pay service? Will there be any way to integrate with users that don't have iPhones? And, of course, how soon can we get our hands on it? We'll be watching this closely to see how it unfolds.