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iPhone 4.0 beta hints at front video cam

updated 07:30 am EDT, Fri April 9, 2010

iChat reference in iPhone 4 hints video chat

A discovery in the iPhone 4.0 beta firmware may have helped confirm talk of a front-facing camera on a future iPhone model. Using either the iPhone app iStat or the external Activity Monitor development tool shows a reference to an "iChatAgent" process that normally only shows up on regular Macs. Since iPhone 4.0 doesn't have an iChat equivalent of its own as of the first beta, it's implied by TUAW that the process would be used for video chats.

Front video cameras are commonplace in Asian and European phones as the regions have had 3G for longer than North America and have had video calling as part of some of their cellular plans. Video calling has existed in Canada through Rogers' Vision service, but in the US only AT&T has offered such a service and has limited it to one-way sharing on a handful of non-smartphone devices. As such, it's unclear whether Apple would use any front camera for conventional video calling or solely as a component of instant messaging.

Video chat is heavily dependent on a fast upstream connection rate and may either signal support for faster 3G technologies like HSUPA or HSPA+, or else may simply require being on a Wi-Fi connection.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. Fast iBook

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2003



    Why are people so obsessed with front facing cameras on phones? Yes i would love if people could see both sides of the inside of my pocket at the SAME TIME, or better yet my EAR and what's to the other side of it!!!!

    - A

  1. wrenchy

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Nov 2009


    @ Obsessing.....

    Oh I don't know, it might make say..... Video conferencing or video calls easier? But then the iPhone and iPad can't do that anyway. So all the Apple fans say... WE DON'T NEED IT.

  1. BradMacPro

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2002


    Poor Assumption

    iChatAgent could mean an audio and text chat and not video as well. In fact until LTE performance is available with 4G, you may not be able to do a video chat. Apple may even not to audio with a future iChat for the iPhone. They may just be competing with AIM Free.

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