Evidence Points to Camera in Next iPad

Apple has some interesting things planned for the second generation iPad. With new evidence surfacing every week, it's all but certain the next iPad will include a camera. The question is whether we will be capturing images from the front, back or both sides of the new iPad.

Apple iPad iChat Camera

As expected, iPhone OS 4 has support for the rear-facing iPhone camera, and is coming to the iPad this fall. What's more surprising is TUAW reported that a process called "iChatAgent" is running in the new operating system. Although interesting, Mac users know that iChat can be used without video.

Enter revelations posted by 9to5mac: references in iPhone 4 to "moderators, chat rooms, encrypted video conferences and other features which could be even be used by developers in the future to add video chat." The details are all there, right down to the same sound effects used in iChat.

Right now Apple is using the framework for native apps, and the features are not available to developers. They are also testing video chat on three different servers on the company's private intranet.

According to Mission:Repair, there's an empty slot in the iPad frame that's just the right size for a front-facing iSight camera. Of course, these parts pre-date the iPad model that actually shipped. According to iFixit, "The ambient light sensor lives in a compartment that a camera would love to call home." It's possible Apple will move things around to make a camera happen. They are hiring, after all.

Apple recently posted a full-time position, "Performance QA Engineer, iPad Media" and an excerpt of the job description reads:

“The Media Systems team is looking for a software quality engineer with a strong technical background to test still, video and audio capture and playback frameworks. Build on your QA experience and knowledge of digital camera technology (still and video) to develop and maintain testing frameworks for both capture and playback pipelines…Experience with tuning of and image pipeline..."

Why the iPad emphasis on still, audio, and video capture and playback? Something's in the works.

Another option, already proven in concept by third-party app developers, would be an official Apple webcam accessory. This would wirelessly add a camera to the iPad and could easily be attached directly to the device. Apps that already make this possible include Camera-A and Camera for iPad, which link up your iPhone camera for use on the iPad via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.

It's a matter of time until the iPad gets camera functionality. Anyone out there waiting to buy an iPad until this happens?

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I was thinking that a camera accessory would be a perfect option for the first generation iPad. For me at least, I

I was thinking that a camera accessory would be a perfect option for the first generation iPad. For me at least, I don't really need/want a camera. The only time I think I would use it would be for video chat. I don't even use my regular camera or video cam much anymore because I use my cell phone. It's less bulky and always on hand.

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Not waiting. But will keep the older iPad pristine for resale.

Not waiting. But will keep the older iPad pristine for resale.

RosannaP's picture

Amazing huh!Just over a year after Apple birthed the first iPhone, the long-awaited, next-generation iPhone 3G has

Amazing huh!Just over a year after Apple birthed the first iPhone, the long-awaited, next-generation iPhone 3G has arrived bearing a mildly tweaked design and a load of new features.There is yet another model of the iPhone coming out. Alright maybe I should say there is an iPhone prototype possibly soon to be the next iPhone4.0. As though our smart phones could not do enough, they are always looking for a lot more for them to do. The prototype that was found in a bar, that’s right I said a bar, is said to have a camera on the front of the phone as well as in the back. It is said to have a longer battery life, better SIM card, and two microphones! Maybe soon they will come out with an iPhone that can even babysit for me, since I'm certain that price of the phone is going to equal 6 months day care costs and that’s just when the next model will come out.

r0n's picture

Look it's the personal money store again...

Look it's the personal money store again...

default user picture

I'm a newbie to Apple and don't have an iPhone, but after seeing and playing with an iPad this weekend fell in lov

I'm a newbie to Apple and don't have an iPhone, but after seeing and playing with an iPad this weekend fell in love/lust and will get a 3G version when available. I don't need a camera, but is the OS upgradeable when a new version is released?