While few details are known about the forthcoming offering, Apple is poised to launch a new mobile social networking solution.
On Wednesday, Apple seeded to its registered iOS developers the first beta version of its iOS 4.3 update. The update came with scant information about something called “Find My Friends,” a looming feature most likely connected to the premium $99-per-year MobileMe push service.
Given that Apple has been promising to tweak its MobileMe service for some time, it would come as little surprise to anyone if Apple added a new location-based social network, possibly one to rival Google Latitude.
Apple’s interest in a location-sharing service was documented by Apple Insider late last year, when reporters for the Apple news blog unearthed a patent application filing with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. One application in particular alluded to a “Friend Locator” feature which would use Apple’s push notification service to share their location with friends via GPS.
During the past twelve months, Apple has consistently illustrated a profound interest in and fascination with mobile social and mobile marketing. Between the launch of Ping and iAd, Apple has provided the groundwork for no shortage of forthcoming bells and whistles across a broad mobile platform, the next of which could very well be the social networking service teased in iOS 4.3 beta.