New to the list of iOS 6 features that weren’t made prominent at the WWDC 2012 keynote is geofencing alerts in Apple’s Find My Friends app.
Location geofencing was first introduced in iOS 5 with the Reminders app. It allowed people to get alerts for reminders they set when they enter a specific location or leave one. For instance, you can set a reminder to call home when you get to work, and once iOS detects you are at work, you’ll get a notification to complete the given task. With geofencing for Find My Friends in iOS 6, you’ll be able to receive alerts when your friends enter or leave certain locations.
Yep, this is has the potential to get very creepy. On one hand, if you’re in a large venue and you’re trying to meet up with one of your friends, the alert can help in finding him/her when they arrive. On the other, having your friends set up alerts for when you go to random places is just plain weird. Apple has privacy settings in place already for tracking friends’ locations so I’m sure it’ll add some more to manage geofencing capabilities.
I don’t personally know that many people who use Find My Friends in the first place. It’s an indirect competitor to Foursquare and the general consensus is that Foursquare won. Checking in for yourself puts you in control of whether your friends know where are you are, while the strategy behind Find My Friends is a bit more informal.