Apple Patents Social Networking App for iPhone

iphone-social-networksThe U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has awarded Apple a new patent that outlines a location-based social networking application for its iPhone platform.

According to PatentlyApple, which first discovered the patent filing (originally submitted in Q3 2008), Apple is at work on a solution dubbed ‘iGroups” that allows friends or colleagues attending group events like concerts, weddings and trade shows to share information or reactions to live events as they unfold; the service leverages a cryptographic key generation system to guarantee communications security and privacy.

The patent adds that in the event a particular device within a group does not support geolocation technology, Apple’s MobileMe service can provide “virtual GPS” capabilities to that user in order to interact with their contacts.

PatentlyApple adds that iGroups represents the fourth Apple social networking application made public in 2010, indicating the company is intensely focused on the segment, Fierce says.

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