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Apple iOS 4.3 Has "Find My Friends" Social Feature

Deep inside the Apple iOS 4.3 SDK, there is a handle called Find_My_Friends which some have interpreted as being an indication that Apple is looking to offer a location-based service that helps user to find their acquaintances.

Macrumors, which came up with it first, shows that the service may be link to MobileMe and may include an optional opt-in key.

A "Find My Friends" feature will allow MobileMe to justify its high annual $99 cost although, no one would probably get MobileMe to benefit from a social networking feature.

A location-based social networking service will pit Apple against Foursquare, Google Latitude, Facebook Places and to a certain extent Twitter.

Apple has already seeded social features in many of its services including Ping for music and GameCenter but they currently operate in an Apple controlled environment (either iTunes or iOS).

The other theory is that the "Find My Friends" could be used for Apple's iAd platform for location based services.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.