Absolutely looking forward to hearing each and every detail from Apple's event today about the iPad mini, Mac lineup refreshes, and the prospect of a possibly-refreshed 9.7" iPad? Watch it being unveiled for the first time (officially, that is) straight from Apple CEO Tim Cook and the recognizably-enthusiastic Apple crew today at 10am PST/1pm EST. Head after the break to find out how the event can be streamed live as it happens on Mac, iOS, PC, and Apple TV.
The rumors of a front facing camera for the iPhone and iPad continue to stay alive as evidence of an iChatAgent appeared in iPhone OS 4.0, which is currently only in developer preview. On the Mac OS, iChatAgent is the background process that supports iChat's connectivity to chat services such as AIM, Bonjour, Jabber, and others. Inclusion of this daemon in the iPhone OS strongly suggests Apple intends to offer chat services in the iPhone soon. Though a camera was not included in the initial iPad hardware, it is very possible that the next generation iPhone — which may be introduced as early as June — could include a front facing camera.
When it comes to video calling over a cellular network, Canada has been surprisingly ahead of the curve. Rogers has had it since April of 2007 for making calls within their own network, and Bell and Telus got intra-network video calling in 2009 when they created their HSDPA+ networks. Despite this, it hasn't yet become mainstream with the public. Now they're hoping that enabling them to make video calls between networks will finally make it popular with the cool kids once and for all.
Yet more evidence is raising hopes for video chat finally making its way on to the iPhone and iPad. 9to5 Mac has found two icons titled "AcceptVideo" and "DeclineOrEndVideo" in the iPhone OS 3.2 SDK inside the TelephonyUI.framework folder, which houses graphical elements related to telephony. That could mean video calling is in the future, but as that would require a front-facing camera, it could mean video chatting through 3rd party apps as well.
Video chatting or video calling on the iPhone could really change the way we interact with one another. We still don't have that front-facing camera, but a new solution from Global IP is getting us closer to that ideal. They just announced GIPS VideoEngine Mobile, which they say doesn't have the issues with packet loss, bandwidth constraints, and lip synchronization that most mobile video chat apps have.
Now that devs and hackers have had a chance to play with the iPad simulator, they've begun making some interesting discoveries. Over the weekend, Engadget heard from extremely trusted sources that iPad OS 3.2 has support for video calling which might explain why their leaked photos seemed to have a front-facing camera in them.
According to their source, 3.2 includes hooks to accept and decline a video conference as well as flip video, suggesting a front-facing camera. It also has hooks to run the video call in full screen or in a portion of the screen, suggesting that 3.2 might include some additional multitasking support. However, if the iPad does have video chat support, it would make sense to provide access to other apps during a video call just as the iPhone lets you use other apps during a phone call.
The notoriously reliable John Gruber said in a post on Daring Fireball that he heard there is neither a camera nor webcam of any kind on the rumored-and-probably-leaked-by-Apple Apple Tablet. This contradicts rumors we've been hearing that say exactly the contrary, saying that it was sure to have a front-facing iSight camera, just like the Macbook and iMac lines.
"And, for what it’s worth, I’m hearing there is no camera, webcam or otherwise, on The Tablet," he wrote.