updated 09:40 am EST, Thu January 13, 2011
Forthcoming app likely linked to recent patent
Another new element discovered in the iOS 4.3 beta is an apparent "Find My Friends" feature, reports note. A string of code mentioning the option is associated with MobileMe, suggesting that it could be intended for MobileMe subscribers only. At the same time, the company did recently allow current-generation iOS devices to use Find My iPhone without MobileMe.
Find My Friends is likely to be a service akin to Google Latitude, which tracks the physical location of people who offer their permission. In fact an Apple patent filing on a version of the concept recently emerged at the US Patent and Trademark Office, suggesting not only long-term interest but a possible look for an app. Updates could theoretically be sent as push notifications, and certain details could be hidden selectively.
In less than a day, many new pieces of information have been discovered in iOS 4.3. These include a bevy of new iOS devices, four- and five-finger gestures, and the ability to toggle the mute switch back to orientation lock. It also appears to be the first version of iOS 4 to abandon support for the iPhone 3G and the second-generation iPod touch, which already lack compatibility with features like multitasking.