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Future Apple iPhones could share current location during a call

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
Sharing your current location with a contact could be as simple as a button press in a future iPhone upgrade, according to a new Apple patent application revealed this week.

While the assisted GPS in the iPhone currently allows users to view their own location through the integrated Maps application, the described addition would make it simple and easy to share that data with someone else. The location data could be quickly shared with a person who is currently connected with a phone call, or with someone who was recently sent a text message.

The system would also allow users to actively send their location to another person, or to allow a user to request the location data of the other person, which would then require approval for security purposes. The information would be valuable to friends who are trying to meet, but do not know the whereabouts of each other.

"During an ongoing call, the second user may be prompted (by the second device) to authorize release of her current location information to the requesting first user," the application reads. "Once authorization has been obtained (e.g., by the second user actuating a virtual or physical 'OK' button of the second device), the second device composes and sends a message to the first device that contains its current location information."

The application notes that the invention would not require any modifications to existing cell phone network infrastructure, as long as both handsets feature a device-to-device location awareness application running while the user is in the midst of a phone call.

The location sharing system could also have a stored list of "trusted users," who could access someone's current location by default. This would bypass the user approval necessary with traditional users.

Once permission is received, the phone would automatically display a map with a marker noting the current location of the other device. The map would be wide enough to also show the user's own location, and could provide the distance between the two, along with directions.



The application, entitled "Device-to-Device Location Awareness," was first filed on Aug. 4, 2008. It is credited to Michael M. Lee, Justin Gregg and Chad G. Seguin.

Remotely tracking an iPhone's location has been a feature of Apple's handset since the iPhone OS 3.0 software update. With a subscription to the MobileMe service, users can activate the "Find My iPhone" feature if the unit is lost or stolen. Apple also added a Remote Wipe service that allows users to permanently delete all media and data on the iPhone, restoring it to factory settings in the event that the handset is lost or stolen.
post #2 of 35
This is simply because Apple folks don't do good and diligent code review....

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People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

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We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

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post #3 of 35
Yikes.

"Uh, yeah honey, I'm just at the uh . . . office still, working late. I'll be home later."

Click.

"Alright, so you want to tie me to the bed and the safety word is 'ice-cream'? Got it."
post #4 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

Yikes.

"Uh, yeah honey, I'm just at the uh . . . office still, working late. I'll be home later."

Click.

"Alright, so you want to tie me to the bed and the safety word is 'ice-cream'? Got it."

You beat me to it, I was going to say the same thing.

Yeah, I'm working late... er... in a west end bar!

Do not overrate what you have received, nor envy others.
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Do not overrate what you have received, nor envy others.
15" Matte MacBook Pro: 2.66Ghz i7, 8GB RAM, GT330m 512MB, 512GB SSD

iPhone 5 Black 32GB

iPad 3rd Generation, 32GB

Mac Mini Core2Duo 2.26ghz,...

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post #5 of 35
I can do a lot of this already in my iPhone 3GS. If I go to Maps and tap on the blue dot that indicates my current location, and then on the little blue arrow that appears, a menu appears.
One of the options is 'share location' which then gives the option to send a SMS or MMS.

I know it's not the full functionality talked about above, but it's certainly well on the way to it.
post #6 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoolook View Post

You beat me to it, I was going to say the same thing.

Yeah, I'm working late... er... in a west end bar!

The system would also allow users to actively send their location to another person, or to allow a user to request the location data of the other person, which would then require approval for security purposes. The information would be valuable to friends who are trying to meet, but do not know the whereabouts of each other.

So if one of the parties refuses . . . we've got a somewhat uncomfortable situation under certain circumstances.
post #7 of 35
Meh, no thanks.
post #8 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by teddosan View Post

I can do a lot of this already in my iPhone 3GS. If I go to Maps and tap on the blue dot that indicates my current location, and then on the little blue arrow that appears, a menu appears.
One of the options is 'share location' which then gives the option to send a SMS or MMS.

I know it's not the full functionality talked about above, but it's certainly well on the way to it.

Agreed. There's also some apps (Here I am is one) that offer similar functionality via email though you have to choose who to send it to etc (but can also pick a default email) during the call which may be awkward.

Still I'd really like Apple to introduce this feature - given lots of people have iPhones these days I think it'd be well used and would be a handy feature that would get regular use. The only thing is that the it would somehow have to allow the recipient to remember the location in Maps ... even if they're doing something else on their phone.... so again multitasking comes into play.
post #9 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

The system would also allow users to actively send their location to another person, or to allow a user to request the location data of the other person, which would then require approval for security purposes. The information would be valuable to friends who are trying to meet, but do not know the whereabouts of each other.

So if one of the parties refuses . . . we've got a somewhat uncomfortable situation under certain circumstances.

Haha.. good point! Maybe best not to take that call if you're at the strip club with the boys.
post #10 of 35
So you have to pay for a app that tells people you choose where your iPhone location is.

On the other hand, there is free software that will tell people you don't want to know where your iPhone location is.


Interesting...
The danger is that we sleepwalk into a world where cabals of corporations control not only the mainstream devices and the software on them, but also the entire ecosystem of online services around...
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The danger is that we sleepwalk into a world where cabals of corporations control not only the mainstream devices and the software on them, but also the entire ecosystem of online services around...
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post #11 of 35
Beyond the fact that this thread is very amusing... is this story really news worthy? It's a story about a 'feature'. IMHO.
post #12 of 35
Great idea. About time. But patentable? I'm not so sure.

Phones with GPS report your coordinates when you dial 911. Every phone I've owned has a configuration option to either restrict GPS data to emergency calls or to make them available to everybody - except that nobody has a clue how "everybody" could actually get this information to do something with it.

Putting a button on the phone to decide "send/no-send" on a per-call basis is a nice idea. Building in an app to receive the coordinate and display it on a pre-existing map application may be the first actual non-emergency use of this long-standing feature. But is there anything patentable?

All of the components and technologies here already exist, some of which have existed for a long time. Simply porting them to the iPhone shouldn't be worthy of a patent.
post #13 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTripper View Post

So you have to pay for a app that tells people you choose where your iPhone location is. On the other hand, there is free software that will tell people you don't want to know where your iPhone location is.

Interesting...

Are we reading the same thread? I don't see how either of these two statements are true, or anywhere in the thread where anything close to that is said.
  • You don't have to pay for an app "to tell people you chose your location," it's already in the maps app for free.
  • There is no free software (mentioned) that "tells people you don't know, your location."

The biggest problem with location software is that it *hasn't* opened up yet because of the obsessive security fears of older generation users that don't understand how this sort of thing works. Apple can only be faulted for being overly *conservative* in their approach to these issues not the other way around.
post #14 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by shamino View Post

Great idea. About time. But patentable? I'm not so sure.

Phones with GPS report your coordinates when you dial 911. Every phone I've owned has a configuration option to either restrict GPS data to emergency calls or to make them available to everybody - except that nobody has a clue how "everybody" could actually get this information to do something with it.

Putting a button on the phone to decide "send/no-send" on a per-call basis is a nice idea. Building in an app to receive the coordinate and display it on a pre-existing map application may be the first actual non-emergency use of this long-standing feature. But is there anything patentable?

All of the components and technologies here already exist, some of which have existed for a long time. Simply porting them to the iPhone shouldn't be worthy of a patent.

Patents are granted on implementations. Nuff said.
post #15 of 35
Well, playboys... Loving calling home from bars/dens/"whatever"?

Imagine now there's a hospital just in front of that paradise of yours but no satellite GPS signal, just cellular triangulation!

Honey-tscmoney...

We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

Reply

We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

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post #16 of 35
Good idea, but it better be an option and not on by default.
post #17 of 35
Obviously it won’t be sent automatically by default—you can send it if you want to.

This would be great for finding people at a big event, amusement park, parking lot, etc. (Although you can already do it via MMS as others have posted. I’ve always wondered if that function works when sending to NON-iPhones, assuming the recipient has a map app. And whether they in turn can MMS their location to my iPhone’s Maps, the way another iPhone user can.)
post #18 of 35
Wow, some people are very paranoid. It requires authorization, so there's not really any problems I can see. This could be immensely useful when trying to meet up with some one who is terrible with directions.

Why do some people freak out Just because there's a new feature that has something to do with location? You ALWAYS have an option. Chose not to utilize it.
post #19 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

The biggest problem with location software is that it *hasn't* opened up yet because of the obsessive security fears of older generation users that don't understand how this sort of thing works. Apple can only be faulted for being overly *conservative* in their approach to these issues not the other way around.


The older generation has a lot more experience with the bad things people can do, especially with technology like this and choose not to participate.
The danger is that we sleepwalk into a world where cabals of corporations control not only the mainstream devices and the software on them, but also the entire ecosystem of online services around...
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The danger is that we sleepwalk into a world where cabals of corporations control not only the mainstream devices and the software on them, but also the entire ecosystem of online services around...
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post #20 of 35
Polly Purebred: Help! Help, Help! Help!

There's no need to fear, Apple's iPhone is here!

Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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post #21 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmadlena View Post

Wow, some people are very paranoid. It requires authorization, so there's not really any problems I can see. This could be immensely useful when trying to meet up with some one who is terrible with directions.

Why do some people freak out Just because there's a new feature that has something to do with location? You ALWAYS have an option. Chose not to utilize it.


If Apple implements this in the iPhone, then any app has access to it, just like they already have access to your address book, recent calls, searches etc.

"There's a virus for that"

CNBC

http://www.cnbc.com/id/15840232?video=1403834914&play=1
The danger is that we sleepwalk into a world where cabals of corporations control not only the mainstream devices and the software on them, but also the entire ecosystem of online services around...
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The danger is that we sleepwalk into a world where cabals of corporations control not only the mainstream devices and the software on them, but also the entire ecosystem of online services around...
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post #22 of 35
Self Delete

Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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post #23 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTripper View Post

The older generation has a lot more experience with the bad things people can do, especially with technology like this and choose not to participate.

I probably should have said *some* older generation users, being as I am ancient myself.
post #24 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by ivan.rnn01 View Post

Well, playboys... Loving calling home from bars/dens/"whatever"?

Imagine now there's a hospital just in front of that paradise of yours but no satellite GPS signal, just cellular triangulation!

Honey-tscmoney...

Please don't do stand up. To date, nothing you've said has been funny.
post #25 of 35
"This will help friends find each other when their lost????" I wish companies would grow a set and come out and acknowledge the real reason how this feature will be used..... To locate spouses, significant others, etc...including kids. For every friend that is 'lost', I bet there is 50 suspecting spouses trying to locate the other.
post #26 of 35
No Thanx, I already got an electronic bracelet ....
post #27 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by will535 View Post

"This will help friends find each other when their lost????" I wish companies would grow a set and come out and acknowledge the real reason how this feature will be used..... To locate spouses, significant others, etc...including kids. For every friend that is 'lost', I bet there is 50 suspecting spouses trying to locate the other.

How would that even work? Youd call them, ask the person to send their location, and theyd agree to do so or they wouldnt. May as well just ask them verbally where they are I guess its a way to ask for proof if you dont trust the person at all. But they dont HAVE to press the button just because you ask them to.
post #28 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

How would that even work? Youd call them, ask the person to send their location, and theyd agree to do so or they wouldnt. May as well just ask them verbally where they are I guess its a way to ask for proof if you dont trust the person at all. But they dont HAVE to press the button just because you ask them to.

Your obviously not married.
post #29 of 35
To quote apple, "there's an App for that." I remember I had one that allowed you to share your location with friends whenever they asked you.
post #30 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post

Self Delete

[self release]; // would maybe even work
post #31 of 35
This adds to a list of reasons for ppl to JB their iPhones now. Cuz ppl will want to install apps that will fake the GPS location.
post #32 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

The biggest problem with location software is that it *hasn't* opened up yet because of the obsessive security fears of older generation users that don't understand how this sort of thing works.

What you meant to type was "the obsessive security fears of older generation users *because*they*actually*do* understand how this sort of thing works."

There, I fixed it for you. ;-)
No Matte == No Sale :-(
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No Matte == No Sale :-(
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post #33 of 35
Now all we need is an App that fakes your location...

..."Of course I'm at the office, see."
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post #34 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapporobabyrtrns View Post

Please don't do stand up. To date, nothing you've said has been funny.

Anytime, Madame.

We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

Reply

We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

Reply
post #35 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by ivan.rnn01 View Post

Anytime, Madame.

Pathetic but typical....
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