iPhone goes social with media stream feature

Posted by Emma Woollacott

Apple looks set to introduce social media features in the next release of the iPhone operating system, iOS 4.3.

Trawling through an early developer build, Apple Insider says it's  noticed a 'Media Stream' folder which contains another folder titled 'Photo Streaming'. The implication is that Apple plans to allow users to share their photos with friends.

"Photo Stream uploads and stores the last thirty days of your photos on MobileMe and downloads them to all of your devices," says the text in iOS 4.3 beta 2.

It seems to make MobileMe Gallery's photo sharing ability automatic, and includes the ability to assign privacy settings.

MobileMe is also the basis for a new Find My Friends feature,  possibly creating a location-based service like Foursquare.

The beta release also includes an experimental feature - not for inclusion in the next version, it warns - which allows whole-hand gestures to be used to move between multitasking apps or return to the home screen.

Some are suggesting that this means that the next version of the phone - as well as the next version of the iPad - won't have home buttons at all.