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Wednesday, October 04, 2006, 11:00 am PT (02:00 pm ET)

Apple may add Google integration to iPhoto

Some poking and prying through the software resources of Apple Computer's latest iPhoto update has turned up evidence that company may soon offer users a new feature tie-in with Google's map services.

As discovered by a MacTelChat forum poster, the latest version of the photo cataloging application includes over 70 references to GPS attributes, including a call to "GPSMapURL," which passes attributes to Google's online mapping service.

It's believed the GPSMapURL function will be tied to an interface button — also discovered in the application's resources — that will display in Google Maps the geographic location of a photograph's origin (where it was taken). Still, it's unclear how iPhoto is to obtain the geographic data.

This isn't the first time that GPS technologies have been rumored to make their way into Apple's Mac OS X operating system and associated software applications. Earlier this year, reliable sources told AppleInsider that the company had been working on OS-level integration of a geographical mapping technology as part of Leopard, its next-generation operating system due in the first half of 2007.

The new Mac OS X feature, which insiders have called "Maps," was also rumored to employ GPS functionally. Those insiders said there had been talk inside Apple about eventually leveraging the technology to help track stolen Macs or iPods.

In August, Apple offered a crowd of developers at its annual World Wide Developers Conference a sneak peek of approximately 10 features planned for upcoming Leopard system. However, chief executive Steve Jobs stopped short of full disclosure, explaining that several other "top secret" features were being kept under wraps, as not to tip off rivals such as Microsoft Corp.

Meanwhile, a recent patent application filed in the US on behalf of the Cupertino, Calif.-based Mac maker includes references to a "multi-functional handheld device" with GSP capabilities. According to the filing, the device could also contain a microphone, camera, and cellular capabilities.

iPhoto 6.0.5 GPS Features

Photo Credit: MacTelChat