iPhone 5 To Come With Social Networking Features?

Hints within the latest iOS 4.3 beta 2 operating system indicate that the iPhone 5 may be offering a new feature called "Media Stream", potentially one which attempts to turn Apple into a major social networking player.

9to5Mac says that within a new folder called "Media Stream" lies another one called "Photo Streaming" and it seems as if users will be able to subscribe to other iPhone 4 users photo streams and submit their own photos.

This feature is likely to be interlocked with another new feature, "Find My Friends", and may be offered as part of a new free, more consumer oriented, MobileMe service.

9to5 also points to the concept of iGroups, something that Apple has patented, which may be tied to a cloud-based infrastructure not unlike Microsoft's own ill-fated Kin, where photos were automatically uploaded to remote servers.

The fundamentals are there and it is likely that the service will be rolled out with iOS 5, which will come with the iPhone 5.

Some might notice that many Android phone manufacturers like Sony Ericsson or Motorola already offer some sort of social network aggregators (Sony has the MediaScape while Motorola has the Motoblur).

Apple, however as it is customary intends to go much further than that, potentially moving it beyond photos to music, videos and even applications and games.