Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, they say, and considering that we see a new patent infringement suit pop up almost every day it seems, mobile industry players flatter each other constantly. In this latest round of adulation, it looks like Apple may be prepping a “Photo Stream” service that sounds a great deal like Microsoft’s Photo Hub. The concept might not be novel, but it is very cool — Photo Hub constantly watches for images posted by your contacts and continuously updates with new pics as they are uploaded. “Photo Stream,” as it appears to be called in Apple’s iOS 4.3 beta, will basically do the same thing. It will apparently watch for new photos uploaded to MobileMe by a user’s contacts, and then automatically feed them through the app. This looks as though it will be a small piece of a bigger puzzle as Apple continues to make the iOS platform more social. But while Apple may indeed be flattering Microsoft with its new Photo Stream feature, truth be told, we would much rather see Apple ripping off Palm’s webOS platform in an effort to repair its worst-in-class notification system.