iGroups: Apple’s New iPhone Social App in Devolopment

Posted on March 18, 2010 by

A patent by Apple was published today on something called iGroups, a proximity-based social networking app.  The patent was filed in September 2008.  No information yet on when or if this app will be released.  Hopefully we’ll hear more at Apple’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference this summer.

From Patently Apple:

Apple is working on a new communications based social networking application that they’re simply calling “iGroups.” According to the documents published by USPTO today, Apple’s iGroup will be a new service that will work on your iPhone and likely work with MobileMe. The idea is to allow groups of friends or colleagues attending such events as aconcert, a tradeshow, business meeting, wedding or rally to stay in communication with each other as a group to share information or reactions to live events as they’re occurring. The technology behind the new iGroup social networking applications works with a very sophisticated cryptographic key generation system to ensure security and privacy of your communications. Interestingly, the patent states that if one of the devices in your group happens to be without true positioning technology, it appears that Apple’s MobileMe service will provide some sort of “virtual GPS” capability to that user so that they could be aware of the locations of others in the group. Apple’s patent provides us with example scenarios of both a concert and WWDC event to clarify the service. This marks Apple’s fourth social networking application made public since the start of 2010 – which clearly indicates that Apple now has this hot new sector in its crosshairs.

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