Apple’s latest iPhone SDK suggests iPad nearly had video conferencing

Blowout Specials ends 2/28“Developers pawing over the latest iPhone SDK have found references to a front-facing camera, and controls to manage video calls, despite the lack of announced hardware,” Bill Ray reports for The Register.

“The latest iPhone SDK, which is also used to develop iPad applications, has references to a hasFrontCamera variable – so applications can check if the hardware exists – but developers have also found buttons for accepting and rejecting video calls, buttons that are too wide for the iPhone’s screen,” Ray reports.

“Video calling was supposed to be the killer function for 3G networks, but it turned out that nobody wanted it,” Ray reports. “Since then companies such as Skype have made the capability free and still there’s only minimal use. Despite this apparent reality, almost all manufacturers still regard a front-facing camera as an essential feature on a 3G handset – all except Apple, that is.”

Ray reports, “The iPhone has never had a front-facing camera, and from what Apple has said neither does the iPad – some Apple fans are predicting a surprise inclusion of such a camera at launch, though it seems more likely destined for a future model.”

Full article, with a screenshot of the buttons, here.

MacDailyNews Take: The problem with video calling is that you generally have to get presentable in order to do it (although, as Ray describes in his article, it does have its uses, for example: far-flung family members). Seriously, who wants to look up each other’s noses via shaky cam while you’re running around with cell phones? It’s one of those things that sounds get on paper, but is decidedly less practical in daily use.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Lava_Head_UK” for the heads up.]


  1. Why was this not noticed in earlier builds…? ie. is this a new addition and if so would that not indicate a more current development? I think this is Apples way of creating demand… its classic Bernays PR and its what Apple does best. Intentional leaks…the one thing we all know about apple is that we don’t know ie. its very secretive. Very little gets out without it being sanctioned. It uses rumour sites to test demand and to create it. Traditional Media tap into these sites. Leading to public expectation. and boom…a product is born and released into a market where demand exists. First ebook you all need to get on your ipad is: Propaganda by Edward Bernays. (The orginal PR Guru)

  2. I have an i phone 3 g and i recently upgraded to the 3.0 software. I researched the i phone 3g s which is the new i phone and i dont get it. It has all the same features as the i phone 3g with a 3.0 software except the video camera and mobile me. So whats the big deal about the i phone 3g s? i dont get it. I love my i phone investment 

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