Fresh evidence of Apple’s secret plans to create its own social networking service has emerged in a latest leak.
Two patent drawings, along with HTML code, have been sighted by the eagle-eyed folk at 9to5Mac, adding weight to rumours that Cupertino is working on a location-based service similar to Google Latitude.
Find My Friends, as it looks likely to be called, will allow iFans to see where their contacts are hiding out at a specific point in time. Illustrations from the company’s patent application from 2010 show two possible screen designs that will display a list of friends with their addresses and the distance they are from the user’s present location.
And if HTML code, unearthed from Apple’s MobileMe/iCloud website, is anything to go by, there will be features similar to Twitter, too, with labels such as ‘People I am following’, ‘People following me’, ‘Block new follow request’ that are clearly intended for similar friends management tools.
According to 9to5Mac, Find My Friends is likely to be a part of iCloud in iOS 5, which presents a number of opportunities for Apple to set its service apart from rivals. One clever implementation may be having photos, videos and other updates by friends and family displayed on a map, taking the New Feed feature of Facebook to a new level.
iOS 5 will launch officially with the iPhone 5, which looks set to land some time in October.
Source: 9to5Mac via CNET