iPod/iPhone getting WiFi iTunes downloads, sharing?

As maligned of a product as the Microsoft Zune is, the little digital audio player has a few tricks up its sleeve that the iPod can’t match. The wireless sharing feature for example, which, as crippled as it is, has yet to be duplicated by the folks in Cupertino. If a recent patent filing offers any indication, however, Apple may be planning a “social” revolution of its own. The filing details a system whereby WiFi-enabled devices automatically recognize each other, share contact info and transfer files. What’s more, it seems like the service might come tied in with an over-the-air iTunes download service. If well executed, over-the-air iTunes could prove to be the killer app for WiFi-enabled iPods.

Microsoft, however, isn’t resting on its laurels. The company recently filed a patent of its own, detailing a new system where a Zune user could opt to purchase a track over-the-air after it has expired. Even better, the user who initially shared the track would get a commission on the sale. That’s a brilliant marketing tactic that could really get Zune users sharing–if Microsoft can work out the copyright agreements are currently crippling the device’s WiFi sharing.

For more on the Apple patent:
– see this article from Electronista

For more on the Zune patent:
– see this article from Zune Scene

More stories about Hardware News   Microsoft Windows   Mac OS X  


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