Patent Filling Hints at Mid-Call iPhone Location Sharing

Posted on February 4, 2010 by

From MacNN:

Future iPhone firmware updates could allow people to share locations in the middle of a call, a recently revealed patent application hints. The iPhone 3G and 3GS already enable GPS data in a variety of applications, including Apple’s own Maps. By permitting sharing during a call, however, Apple could make it simpler to find a friend without using specialty third-party apps, like Loopt.

Apple’s concept would place new buttons in the iPhone dialing screen, giving the option of sending or receiving location info. To protect privacy, both parties in a transfer would have to authorize the process; for convenience’s sake people could be added to a list of “trusted users” who do not need a second approval. Mutually authorized exchanges would trigger a message with the GPS data, sent out over a regularcellular network.

Data could also be sent during SMS conversations, and/or trigger a map with position markers. The latter presumably refers to content in Maps, as it also mentions scaling a map to show the location of both callers, with options to see distance and directions.

Apple originally filed for the patent in August 2008, but the application has only just been published.

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