Photo: izzyplante via Flickr
We are hearing vague rumours that Apple may launch some sort of “social” mobile app tomorrow at its iPad 2 event. We expect Apple to show off its new iOS 5 software tomorrow, and perhaps this app will be part of that presentation.To be very clear: We don’t know either way if this is going to happen; this is second-hand gossip from a single source in the mobile industry. It could be complete hallucination. But some people are talking about it, others haven’t heard a peep, and it’s worth looking out for.
Specifically, our source speculates that the app could have some sort of media sharing and location sharing features. Maybe photo sharing.
It could be part of Ping, it could replace Ping, it could be part of MobileMe (which may go free), or it could be separate — our source isn’t sure. But this person says that if there is a surprise at the event, this could be it. (Or, who knows, maybe it won’t be announced until WWDC, or never.)
While Ping, Apple’s music-focused social network, and GameCenter, its gaming-focused social network, don’t seem like runaway hits, it makes sense for Apple to keep trying at social stuff.
If Apple can build a social network around iPhones and iPads, that’s another advantage over Google and the others.
And it appears that Apple is thinking more about building social and less about teaming up with Facebook. Perhaps it sees Facebook as a long-term threat — Facebook is building its own mobile software — and Apple wants to counter with its own social tools.
We may find out more tomorrow.