Will the iPhone and iPad Soon Have Gelocation Apps?

By HTMLGoodies Staff

Recently Google and Facebook both announced support for geolocation services, and developers have began to openly speculate whether Apple will follow suit. Today Apple may be answering that question with a patent filing for iGroups, a social networking service which uses geolocation data.

iGroups connects iPhone and other mobile users together, allowing a user, for instance, who is attending an event to stay connected and share details with colleagues and friends. The patent for Google's iGroups states that iGroups differs from other, similar services such as Foursquare, Loopt and others, in that users without GPS services would still be able to join in the fun by sharing a "virtual GPS".

While Apple may not be ready to jump into the geolocation mix with this patent filing, its an indication that they are certainly interested. Apple rejected Google Voice from the App Store, and more importantly, also rejected Google Latitude on the iPhone as well. Latitude enables users to announce their location to friends. Sound familiar? Another clue is the purchase by Apple of PlaceBase, whose founder and CEO, Jaron Waldman, joined Apple's "GeoTeam" after the purchase. Geolocation may be coming soon to an iPhone near you.

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