We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,259 News Articles

Apple planning Foursquare-style iPhone app?

Mac maker files patent for social networking tool

A recently disclosed patent request suggests Apple may be working on a mobile social networking application that would presumably let iPhone users form ad-hoc groups based on their locations.

Titled 'Group Formation Using Anonymous Broadcast Information', Apple's request with the US Patent & Trademark Office describes a token-exchange system that would allow mobile devices in close proximity to discover each other and form a group, which the document states could be helpful at events like concerts, conferences, meetings, rallies and weddings.

"User interfaces, filters and search engines can be provided to the users to enable users to search and manage groups. The groups can be used with various applications - e.g., calendars, address books, email, instant messaging - to provide additional content and services to the users. If the geographic location of the group at the contact time is known, then members of the group can be targeted to receive location-based services (LBS) and content," the patent request reads.

The patent request, first discovered and reported on by technology news site Patently Apple, is leading to speculation that Apple wants to jump into the hot area of location-aware mobile applications, which offer data and services based on where users are, like the increasingly popular Foursquare.

The social networking and microblogging service Twitter now allows its users to specify a geographic location for their "tweets," whether posted on the Twitter site or through a third-party application. Facebook is reportedly working on a location feature for its social networking site as well.


IDG UK Sites

Best Black Friday 2014 tech deals UK: Latest bargains on phones, tablets, laptops and more this...

IDG UK Sites

Tech trends 2015: 3D printing grows up

IDG UK Sites

25 iOS apps turn (Red) for World AIDS Day campaign

IDG UK Sites

Black Friday 2014 UK: Apple deals, Amazon deals & other Black Friday tech offers