Apple files mobile social networking patent request

Apparently Apple is interested in developing a location-aware application for the iPhone

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 U.S. 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, e-mail, 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.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags patentsiPhonesocial networkingiphone apps

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?