Apple Patents Mass-Texting New Contact Info

    May 2, 2012

Everybody knows what a pain it can be to change your phone number. Not only do you have to memorize your new number (a step some people never bother to take), you have to update your contact info all over the place, and you have to let all your friends know that your old number doesn’t work anymore. If you’re the kind of person with an address book full of people who need your digits, getting them all your new contact info can be a pain. Sure you can post it on Facebook or Twitter, but what if you don’t want all your Facebook friends or Twitter followers to have your number?

With current technology, you have to either send out a massive email, or bombard everyone you know with texts. Now, thanks to group texting, that last one isn’t too terribly difficult, but it is still a bit time consuming. Wouldn’t it be great if there were a way to just have your new contact info go out to everybody in your address book?

If you think so, then you may be in luck. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has just granted Apple a patent for that very technology. The patent deals with a smartphone feature that will automatically detect when your phone’s number changes and send out a mass text to the people in your address book, letting them know your new contact info.

Of course, you may not want to text everybody in your address book about your new number (for example: my local Pizza Hut has no need to know the best way to get ahold of me). The patent doesn’t mention any customization options with this feature, but it’s highly unlikely that Apple wouldn’t include the ability to select who gets your new info.

Unfortunately, this is only a patent, so there’s no real clue as to when we might actually see this sort of feature coming to the iPhone. On the other hand, it seems like a fairly straightforward software issue, so there is likely no reason it couldn’t be incorporated as soon as iOS 6, which should be coming out this autumn with the next iPhone.

What do you think? Would you like to see a feature like this come to the iPhone? Let us know in the comments.