What’s in Store for Social Networking on the iPhone 4S
So far, Apple is not predicting in major developments in the largest mainstream social media applications, which largely consist of Facebook, FourSquare, Twitter, and YouTube. Hopefully, that will soon change. In meantime, however, a brand new application has people buzzing, despite the current lack of an iPhone 5. It’s called Find My Friends, and it’s destined to be crazy addictive for teenagers and twenty-somethings.
Find my Friends is a free application that allows users to share their current location with their network of family and friends. If it sounds invasive and scary, keep in mind that the geo-sharing feature of the application can be controlled by setting a variable timer, or can be turned off completely. Additionally, parental controls are available to help children manage the application appropriately. Find My Friends is included with the new iCloud application, which stores your music, images, and data files, and synchronizes them wirelessly to multiple devices. Email, contacts, and calendars are also seamlessly integrated. In addition, the iCloud purports to locate Apple devices that that have been misplaced or lost by their owners.
The recently released Color application from Color Labs, Inc. is likely to increase in popularity with the release of the iPhone 4S. This will correspond nicely with the iPhone 4S’s improved image and video resolution, and faster processing speed. Users who network with Color share their photos and videos with strangers as well as their friends. Privacy takes a back seat to sharing, and completely strangers will be able to view moments just captured uploaded to a public “visual diary.” Sharing takes place within a specified geographic location. Pictures may receive thumbs-ups or comments, or be reshared on social media networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
Yet another potential contributer to the growing social network possibilities is the iPhone 4S new virtual assistant Siri, which uses voice recognition software to expertly respond to and obey voice commands. Meant to replacing Apple’s unpopular Voice Control feature, Siri will send text, get weather reports, and even make restaurant reservations. Apple claims that Siri’s excellent dictation also works with third-party applications as well, so you can update statuses on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
Finally, in other social networking news, universities are the latest entities to jump onto cellular social media, and in some cases, creating their own little virtual campuses that can be visited via the iPhone. For example, students can access Harvard University’s campus news, course catalog, shuttle schedule, events calender, and library – without even leaving their dorm room. As if they needed another excuse, right? In any case, Boston seems to be leader in university sociality – MIT and Boston University have social apps for the iPhone as well.