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More Clues About Apple's 'Find My Friends' Mobile Service

As reported by both 9to5Mac and AppleInsider, some additional evidence of Apple's work on a "Find My Friends" service has been discovered in relation to Apple's MobileMe website.


"Find My Friends" was originally discovered as a reference back in iOS 4.3. At the time we suspected that it represented a location-based friend-finding service like Loopt and Google Latitude. The strings (embedded above) seem to confirm those suspicions:
It includes references to standard social networking functions, like a list of people a user is "following," as well as "pending" and "accepted" follower requests. The code also mentions user statuses, updates, blocking of users and removing followers.
These types of services allow you to find your friends who near you at any given time by leveraging your mobile phone's GPS signal. The constant updates can broadcast your location to your friends to know who is nearby.

Apple's implementation seems very similar, and allows you to "follow" or be followed by others. This would presumably allow you to locate those you follow in real time.

Apple has yet to announce any plans to launch such a service, and given the fact that it first appeared back in iOS 4.3 could mean that Apple ultimately decided to scrap the project. Apple's patent applications have previously revealed that Apple is actively researching these type of location based mobile services.

Top Rated Comments

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39 months ago
now you can stalk your friends better...
Rating: 12 Votes
39 months ago


But personally I would say oh look yet another idea in iOS 5 that Apple stole from Google (latitude)

"Year of the copycats" Apple really was talking about itself there. Just another item to add to the growing list.


It's ok. Apple will finally make them matter. The bigger the list, the better.

And you know what Google will do about it? Absolutely nothing. Because they don't have an IP leg to stand on.
Rating: 8 Votes
39 months ago
For your enjoyment, I now present 500 people complaining based on the absurd assumption that this will not be optional :)

And another 100 conspiracy theorists saying that dark powers could use this feature if Apple releases it... even though it would make much more sense for them to use hidden software for that, not a user-facing feature! (P.S. Does your wristwatch have a GPS? Are you sure it doesn’t? If I were a James Bond villain, I'd rather track people using a device nobody pays attention to—not an iPhone that hackers around the world have their microscopes and packet-sniffers aimed at.)

Oh well, I’ll still be happy to have this occasionally when meeting friends at a large event.
Rating: 8 Votes
39 months ago
Ping 2.0, Stalker edition?
Rating: 4 Votes
39 months ago
Wat about find my prototype iphone in a bar?
Rating: 4 Votes
39 months ago
Some hacker is probably going to use this to stalk people
Rating: 3 Votes
39 months ago
yeah I don't want people I know to know that that I like hookers and cocaine...
Rating: 2 Votes
39 months ago

- I know. But how is this relevant to my post?


I think he means that in iOS currently there is already background management of an application's battery use of GPS along with settings for the user to turn a particular programs use of GPS on or off.
Rating: 2 Votes
39 months ago
Isn't this related to the already known twitter integration? Seems obvious to me, they wouldnt use the exact same terms for a competing service.
Rating: 2 Votes
39 months ago
It will be interesting to see how they intend to implement this. If it requires your phone to use its GPS at all times, it's not really usable, as it consumes too much power. They should come up with a system where your phone only activates the GPS when one of your followers wants to find you.
Rating: 2 Votes

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