Apple working on a more social way to buy and share apps [Patent watch]

Based on a recent patent filing, it looks as if Apple may be looking at even more ways to buy and share apps. This approach would be a bit more social as it would allow your friends to share applications with you that they think you may enjoy. This could work through the network, through a cloud service, or through IR.

The patent explains a way in which you could have a list of applications that are able to be shared. When sharing, the person receiving the recommendation would have access to either the full apps with a trial period limit, a demo, or a restricted (lite) version. I'm assuming this would probably depend on each developer's preference. The user would see a list of applications to share and they could drag them to a specified location in order to share them with others.

There is also talk of this being a way for Apple to offer incentives to people who refer applications to others. Whether those incentives would include App Store credit, promotional material, discounts or something else isn't clear. Regardless what it is, it's definitely something I could see as a good model to boost App Store sales even further.

The patent also shows that this model could be used across several devices including iPhones, iPod Touches, iPads, and Mac computer platforms. This makes sense considering Mac will now offer an App Store as well. We can only assume a lot of apps will offer compatibility with Macs in the future.

Is this a feature you think you'd use? I frequently get family and friends asking for app recommendations and this could potentially make my life a bit easier when it comes to sending them a list of apps I recommend. I could simply send them straight to their device. And if Apple wants to give me some perks for doing so, even better!


[via Patently Apple]

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Allyson Kazmucha

Senior editor for iMore. I can take apart an iPhone in less than 6 minutes. I also like coffee and Harry Potter more than anyone really should.

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Reader comments

Apple working on a more social way to buy and share apps [Patent watch]


Nice idea, nothing earth shattering tho. What I find more interesting is the diagram of the iPhone which seems to show a pull down menu from the top, the apps seem to move down (and 'below the screen'). The pull/drop down menu seems similar to androids notifications system. Could this be the first sign of apple finally addressing the awful notifications currently on the iPhone?

I don't want friends sending me their games, and every other nonsensical, useless app they have store on their 10 home screens.
:x Bahhh, Humbug!