Something I always said about Ping was that the idea was a good one, but it needed to support apps as well as music. Looks like someone at Apple has been listening if this latest patent filing is to be believed.
Thumbing through the documentation over at Patently Apple, it appears that Apple is looking into ways to make the recommending of apps to your friends as easy as a click of a button.
What’s really interesting here is that it appears to do more than just send a link to the receiving user. If I’m reading the patent correctly, and that’s by no means a given, it looks to me that the device initiating the recommendation can actually transmit the app to the receiver – no App Store link is used.
It also makes mention of a reward for the user making the recommendation – that could perhaps be credit added to an iTunes account or similar incentive.
The patent also mentions demo or trial applications, which would be a considerable departure from Apple’s current ‘no demo’ policy.
Of course, patents don’t always find their way into products but this could be very interesting indeed.
I’ll settle for this in iOS 5!