After all the major internet players have been into some form of social networking business, Apple is gearing up to launch its own social location (networking) app called iGroups.
It has been reported that Apple is working with a new communications based networking media that uses your iPhone and MobileMe and will let groups and users share information around an event. That’s great especially if you are in a concert or an event, just send a message from your iGroups app and find all your friends out there who might respond.
Apple has already filed for patent for the “iGroups” and from the patent it appears that Apple’s MobileMe service will provide some sort of “virtual GPS” capability. This would greatly help letting the users be aware of where others in the group are.
The iGroup social networking applications works with a very sophisticated cryptographic key generation system to ensure security and privacy of all communications.
The iGroups is likely to compete with other geo-location apps like Gowalla and Foursquare.
Interestingly, there is news that there is a Walkie Talkie like feature Apple is working on for use with the iPhone and this could allow iPhone users to transmit data such as simple text messages to each other over voice channels, which in a manner is similar to Nextel’s walkie-talkie feature.
Some concerns were reported with the iGroups development especially with its ability to track using GPS. Privacy advocates stated that this could easily be misused by anyone who wants to know the where-abouts of their peers. I am sure Apple will have a fix for that!
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It seems there are lots of location apps coming out. App developers do a nice job of adapting to what new hardware capabilities there are.