There have been rumblings of an Apple-branded location-based social service for some time now, but recently evidence has come to light that suggests we could see it quite soon. The leak, first reported on by AppleInsider, originates from an anonymous source who went “digging around” an online support tool for MobileMe, iCloud’s precursor.
What Mr. Anonymous came across was some Apple-written HTML code that made references to a feature called “Find My Friends.” The code actually goes into a fair amount of detail, revealing just how much of a social network Find My Friends could be.
Not only do user statuses make an appearance, but the code discusses who a user is “following,” as well as “accepting” and “pending” requests.
Now, this feature first made headlines hints of it were discovered in the SDK for iOS 4.3. This is very interesting because Photo Stream, which was also first uncovered in that particular SDK, is now an official Apple feature. This led many to believe that Find My Friends will follow suit.
Lending further credence to this story is the fact that Apple filed for a patent last December for something called “Friend Locator.” All this makes me think that it’s a pretty large possibility that we will see some sort of Google Latitude-like service integrated into iCloud when it’s launched later this fall.
Though, I must admit that while I believe it’s a possibility that this could be true, I find I’m pretty underwhelmed by the idea. Do we really need another location-based social network? No. And, even if we did, I don’t know if Apple is the right company for the job. If you remember, its first venture into the social network world, Ping, was a bust.
What do you guys think? If Apple debuts Find My Friends, will you use it? Let me know in the comments below