updated 09:45 pm EST, Wed January 19, 2011
New features mimic existing services
Apple appears to be set to expand iOS functionality with several new features focused on social networking and content sharing. The iOS 4.3 file system includes a new section labeled "Media Stream," which contains another folder titled "Photo Streaming," according to a 9to5Mac report.
A deeper look into the system suggests the service will allow users to subscribe to Photo Streams from friends. The code has ignited speculation that the photo content may be tied to Apple's cloud endeavors and "Find my Friends" feature, which represents another item that has surfaced in the iOS 4.3 betas.
If the reports are accurate, Apple may be working to replicate basic functionality offered by other networks such as Facebook, Google Latitude, Flickr, and Kin Studio, among others. It is unclear if the Media Stream feature will be expanded to include other content such as videos and music.
Previous reports suggest Apple is nearing the launch of its expansive data center in North Carolina, which is believed to be an essential element for hosting cloud-based content. The company has also filed to patent technology related to over-the-air sync between several devices such as iPhones and Macs.