Next-Gen iPhone/iPad References Found In iOS 4.3 (Beta 1). New ‘Find My Friends’ Feature Coming?

As first noted by Engadget, iOS 4.3 (Beta 1), released yesterday, appears to reference some new iPhone (and iPad) devices which are yet to become available publicly. Also, the software carries references for a seemingly new feature to make its way to iOS sometime in the near future, called ‘Find My Friends’.

The new device references within iOS 4.3 include:


Also, as mentioned above, MacRumors has done some further digging into the software and revealed a number of references to a new social location feature dubbed ‘Find My Friends’. The new feature is explained from what we know (and can see) so far below.

Some further digging into the newly released iOS 4.3 developer build has revealed settings for a new feature called “Find My Friends”. The strings are associated with the Settings app and is related to “MobileMe”. The obvious interpretation is that Apple may be looking to offer a location-based friend-finding service like Loopt and Google Latitude.

Services like Loopt 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. Obviously, these sort of systems are opt-in only, but shows what Apple maybe up to in fleshing out their MobileMe service. Steve Jobs wrote in an email in December that the MobileMe service will get “a lot better in 2011″.

[Engadget via MacRumors]