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iPad has no camera, but Apple's SDK mentions video chat, flash

post #1 of 71
Thread Starter 
Adding to the already-strong evidence that Apple toyed with the idea of a forward facing camera in the iPad, references to video conferencing, as well as camera flash and zoom, have been discovered in the latest beta of the iPad software development kit.

Digging through the PLCameraController.h frameworks in iPhone OS 3.2 SDK Beta 3, MacRumors discovered references to camera flash, zoom, and a front-facing camera. Earlier this month, an internal iPad part revealed a potential space for a forward-facing camera atop the device.

While the first version of the iPad, set to launch in March, will not ship with a camera, it's possible that all of the new functionality, including camera flash and video chat, could be included in the new iPhone, expected to debut this summer. Last month, AppleInsider reported that Apple moved to purchase significant quantities of LED camera flash components.

In addition, large icons likely for the iPad allowing users to accept or decline a video chat invitation were also discovered in the SDK.

The third beta of the iPhone OS 3.2 SDK was temporarily released on Tuesday, before Apple quickly removed the download from its developer Web site. The update made it easier to ensure iPhone and iPod touch applications would work on the forthcoming iPad.



First revealed in January, iPhone OS 3.2 is, for now, currently for the iPad only. It does not yet support the iPhone or iPod touch.
post #2 of 71
Why does the camera have to be built in? Apple can sell one as an accessory.
post #3 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

Why does the camera have to be built in? Apple can sell one as an accessory.

An accessory camera would be too bulky for something that can easily be integrated. No... I still hope for a good surprise end of march...
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post #4 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

Why does the camera have to be built in? Apple can sell one as an accessory.

Exactly. Plus, obviously, companies other than Apple are free to build them. Indeed, they already do. I'd be willing to bet a third-party external (Bluetooth?) videoconferencing camera will be sold as an accessory for the iPad from day one.

On this question, see Roughly Drafted.
post #5 of 71
Was it someone at Apple that said the announced price may be reduced when it ships?

[Pure Speculation]

Maybe - they are using this time to guage publc interest and or finalize camera options etc - and *if* not camera is offered on the forst models the price will be reduced - wheras if the camera does not make it into rev a - then price will drop so that the with caemra version that comes out a few months later can go up in price and few will even care that the price is higher.

[/Pure Speculation]
post #6 of 71
So we see the camera button there, we see the camera code in the SDK and people are STILL thinking the camera is going to be in gen2? Isn't it possible that it will ship with a camera and just not announced at the event? Matter of fact isn't the fact that Apple is recently trying to hide all of their shipment details mean they have more to hide in terms of what parts they are shipping? They are possibly shipping millions of more cameras but trying to hide it so they can surprise with a camera on the iPad at launch... just saying it's possible...
post #7 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by itpromike View Post

So we see the camera button there, we see the camera code in the SDK and people are STILL thinking the camera is going to be in gen2? Isn't it possible that it will ship with a camera and just not announced at the event? Matter of fact isn't the fact that Apple is recently trying to hide all of their shipment details mean they have more to hide in terms of what parts they are shipping? They are possibly shipping millions of more cameras but trying to hide it so they can surprise with a camera on the iPad at launch... just saying it's possible...

Background knowledge is always key. Like, for example, knowing that references to video chat and front cameras and mysterious icons have been "discovered" in the iPhone SDK as far back as 2.0.

Nothing new here, unless you're a new iPad troll who has no prior knowledge of these things.
post #8 of 71
I think the important thing to keep in mind is that sooner or later, there's going to be a camera in the iPad. Sooner = launch? Later = 2nd version of iPad?

What about iChat and video chatting? Would that automatically be included once the camera has been included, or would they wait again to add in that feature?
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post #9 of 71
NEVER EVER BUT A FIRST GENERATION APPLE PRODUCT EVER.
Unless your a stock holder or an avid kool-aid drinker you're bound to be dissapointed in 6 months - guaranteed. Just look at the iPhone for example. You waited in line for hours , paid $600, then 2.5 months later the price dropped to $400 yet you only received a 100 Apple dollar$ yet not for use in iTunes.
post #10 of 71
Or they decided to keep video chat exclusive to the iPhone 4G.......
post #11 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElmCityWeb View Post

I think the important thing to keep in mind is that sooner or later, there's going to be a camera in the iPad. Sooner = launch? Later = 2nd version of iPad?

What about iChat and video chatting? Would that automatically be included once the camera has been included, or would they wait again to add in that feature?

I'd bet its already designed, tested, and ready to go. The next gen is always already wrapped and ready to go. Apple never gives you everything all at once.
post #12 of 71
Real industry insiders and pundits explain that camera wasn't keynoted only because Steve wasn't comfortable enough with showing his nasal hair to everybody around the world... While lucky iPad owners will undoubtedly be able to...

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People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

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People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

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post #13 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by TEKSTUD View Post

I'd bet its already designed, tested, and ready to go. The next gen is always already warpped and ready to go. Apple never gives you everything all at once.

Ain't that the truth! That's usually the case more times than not. Now it's a waiting game.

I also won't buy a 1st gen device, usually.
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post #14 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

Why does the camera have to be built in? Apple can sell one as an accessory.

Oh gawd. The iPad should have a front facing cam, and it's probably will upon launch.
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #15 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by TEKSTUD View Post

I'd bet its already designed, tested, and ready to go. The next gen is always already wrapped and ready to go. Apple never gives you everything all at once.

Could it be that they are doing the same stunt they did back in 2007(?) with the draft N wireless on the MacBooks with the Core2Duo processors, where you had to pay 1.99$ for the N-wifi to be activated ?

To me knowing that there will be an iPad WITH camera is enough to put me on hold for the latter one. So it ain't an easter pressie - I can wait for Santa. But the idea of doing Video Calls with Skype on the iPad is just too tempting. So unless iPad Mark One(tm) has a camera - I'm out
post #16 of 71
I'm going to buy this 1st gen device because if offers a lot built in, plus a ton of potential for accessories. A lot of you are going to be wowed when you really see how amazing such a large screen controlling any other hardware device, is.

This accessory talk hasn't fully developed on the iPhone, but there hasn't been much time either. The difference in screen size creates a whole new ballgame.
post #17 of 71
Why on earth would Apple put a camera in the first revision of their product? They have to leave something "worth" upgrading to for the next generation...
post #18 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by telusman View Post

Why on earth would Apple put a camera in the first revision of their product? They have to leave something "worth" upgrading to for the next generation...

Dangle the carrot? Nah- not Apple!
post #19 of 71
Or rather, "a flash."

(Frankly, both are pretty useless, although given a choice, I'll take the camera flash.)
So good!
post #20 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by itpromike View Post

So we see the camera button there, we see the camera code in the SDK and people are STILL thinking the camera is going to be in gen2? Isn't it possible that it will ship with a camera and just not announced at the event?

rarely to never does Apple do something like that. Especially on a component that could tip the scales to buy for a lot of folks. "and with the built in web cam and our ichat software, you can keep in touch with the family back at home (showing some road warrior dad video chatting with the kiddies)" would be a huge feature.

the inclusion is likely for 3rd party since we know that accessories are part of the OS already. And a company with some savvy could create a dock connecting camera no bigger than that whole Nike+ receiver or the old tunetalk mike and it would sell big.

and then perhaps in Gen2 Apple will add it as a built in.

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post #21 of 71
Having a lot of rich content at release (and I'm not talking about just the app store) will be more important to me than having a webcam. I want to see some interesting iPad versions of some of my favorite magazines.
post #22 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

rarely to never does Apple do something like that. Especially on a component that could tip the scales to buy for a lot of folks. "and with the built in web cam and our ichat software, you can keep in touch with the family back at home (showing some road warrior dad video chatting with the kiddies)" would be a huge feature.

the inclusion is likely for 3rd party since we know that accessories are part of the OS already. And a company with some savvy could create a dock connecting camera no bigger than that whole Nike+ receiver or the old tunetalk mike and it would sell big.

and then perhaps in Gen2 Apple will add it as a built in.

A case placing the camera in the proper location would be a better fit. That's worse than the IR dongles that require you use your iPhone upside down. Luckily someone finally made a case that moves the transmitter to the top. A camera with its own stand would also be a good option so that you could place the iPad wherever you wanted without worrying where the camera is facing. I don't really feel the draw of a front facing camera though. I never use iSight on my mac. It would be a nice feature, but it plays no role in my purchasing decision for the iPad.

Edit: On second thought, the iPad is intended to be used in any direction, so maybe it wouldn't be that bad.
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post #23 of 71
An external video camera bolted onto this sleek device would look horrible.

This device is perfect for a forward-facing camera. While I believe it to be possible Apple will have it in this initial release, I think it's probably a generation 2 feature.

I love the idea of the iPad, but I have to say I probably won't buy one unless it has integrated GPS, an integrated 2+ MP webcam, and the ability to multi-task so I don't need to disconnect my RDP sessions from my servers just to check email. Add those and this will be a truly brilliant device.

In response to the guy shouting about never buying a generation 1 Apple product, I counter with this: I get to use insanely cool technology a whole year before you do. That's worth it for me-- the mobile productivity enhancements alone offered by my iPhone made up for the extra cost several times over compared to my BlackBerry. And I absolutely expect the price of new technology to drop over time. I challenge someone to describe an instance where that wasn't the case. If Apple never dropped the price of their products people would complain about that, too.
post #24 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Adding to the already-strong evidence that Apple toyed with the idea of a forward facing camera in the iPad, references to video conferencing, as well as camera flash and zoom, have been discovered in the latest beta of the iPad software development kit....

It's illogical to assume that these SDk mentions refer to a camera for the iPad in that the physical evidence for an iPad camera doesn't include a provision for a flash. Therefore the SDK mentions are almost certainly for the new iPhone.

The IPad may indeed get a camera on launch, but these SDK mentions are definitely not "further evidence" of that as many are arguing.
post #25 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by ranger_one View Post

I love the idea of the iPad, but I have to say I probably won't buy one unless it has integrated GPS, an integrated 2+ MP webcam, and the ability to multi-task so I don't need to disconnect my RDP sessions from my servers just to check email...

Out of curiosity, what do you need GPS for? It's really not that kind of a portable device.

In response to the guy shouting about never buying a generation 1 Apple product, I counter with this: I get to use insanely cool technology a whole year before you do. That's worth it for me...

I agree with you here. It's kinda like the whole Blu-ray/HD-DVD war. While many sat on the fences, I got one of each and have been enjoying high-def movies on disc at home since late '06. Once I saw the writing on the wall, I cut back on buying HD-DVD movies and started concentrating more on Blu-ray. I'll do the same with the iPad. I'll probably buy a 16GB or 32GB version (without 3G) and then get another when Ver. 2 comes out with 128GB of flash memory, etc...
post #26 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by itpromike View Post

So we see the camera button there, we see the camera code in the SDK and people are STILL thinking the camera is going to be in gen2? Isn't it possible that it will ship with a camera and just not announced at the event? Matter of fact isn't the fact that Apple is recently trying to hide all of their shipment details mean they have more to hide in terms of what parts they are shipping? They are possibly shipping millions of more cameras but trying to hide it so they can surprise with a camera on the iPad at launch... just saying it's possible...

They don't ship the parts to the U.S. and then assemble them here.
The shipping manifests are for finished goods.
Apple wants to keep it's shipping details quiet because it doesn't want you jacking a cargo container filled with 16,000 iPads.
post #27 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

It's illogical to assume that these SDk mentions refer to a camera for the iPad in that the physical evidence for an iPad camera doesn't include a provision for a flash. Therefore the SDK mentions are almost certainly for the new iPhone.

The IPad may indeed get a camera on launch, but these SDK mentions are definitely not "further evidence" of that as many are arguing.

I would think the iPad would just flash the screen white like Macs do.
The actual hardware flash will be on the iPhone first.
If they released an ipad with a hardware flash first, then peoplewould stop buying the iPhone knowing that the iPhone will have a flash in the next update.
post #28 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

rarely to never does Apple do something like that. Especially on a component that could tip the scales to buy for a lot of folks. "and with the built in web cam and our ichat software, you can keep in touch with the family back at home (showing some road warrior dad video chatting with the kiddies)" would be a huge feature.

the inclusion is likely for 3rd party since we know that accessories are part of the OS already. And a company with some savvy could create a dock connecting camera no bigger than that whole Nike+ receiver or the old tunetalk mike and it would sell big.

and then perhaps in Gen2 Apple will add it as a built in.

The other problem Is that iChat is notoriously buggy on the Mac. If they haven't put the resources into making it a solid app on the Mac, what makes anyone think they are going to tout it as a feature when it will never live up to expectations?
post #29 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob55 View Post

I agree with you here. It's kinda like the whole Blu-ray/HD-DVD war. While many sat on the fences, I got one of each and have been enjoying high-def movies on disc at home since late '06. Once I saw the writing on the wall, I cut back on buying HD-DVD movies and started concentrating more on Blu-ray. I'll do the same with the iPad. I'll probably buy a 16GB or 32GB version (without 3G) and then get another when Ver. 2 comes out with 128GB of flash memory, etc...


Agreed! I took the same position with the original iPhone...Day one, I was instantly more productive. And a lot happier, too!

Basically for an extra $100. (Or $0.27 per day, $100/365=$0.27)!

It was worth it just to be able to take control of my contacts and visual voicemail....I had switched from the Samsung knock off of the RAZR and what a mess its OS was! Agggghh!

I bought an iPhone at the same time for my 23 year old daughter and she said, 'Dad, my whole life is on this phone!'




Edit: Before I get churlish remarks (from some posters here) about my daughter 'needing a life!' She's in Med school, on the Dean's list....with a MBP!
Edit: Fortunately, she got her mother's brains!
post #30 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob55 View Post

Having a lot of rich content at release (and I'm not talking about just the app store) will be more important to me than having a webcam. I want to see some interesting iPad versions of some of my favorite magazines.

Rob, that's what I'm looking fwd to too. Plus saving paper and the whole not filling the landfill thing!

I'm really excited about getting a 3g as soon as they are available!
post #31 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenThousandThings View Post

Exactly. Plus, obviously, companies other than Apple are free to build them. Indeed, they already do. I'd be willing to bet a third-party external (Bluetooth?) videoconferencing camera will be sold as an accessory for the iPad from day one.

On this question, see Roughly Drafted.

That guy discussed cameras to have a full "ten myths", not because his argument carried any real weight. Comparing a video chat on a heavy and thick MacBook Pro being held in midair to an imaginary thin iPad and claiming that video chat is too problematic for it to be practical makes about as much sense as lugging around a Macintosh Classic and a car battery and claiming expertise on laptops without having used one. Reality check, the form factor matters. No one doubts the ability to read on the iPad and I can keep a book pretty darn still, believe me I could keep a video chat pretty darn still.

If one is going to do a video chat on an iPad, an integrated camera is the only thing that makes sense, otherwise it'd be in an awkward/bad position for the task at hand. Apple erred. Alright guys? They're not perfect and hopefully they'll fix this oops quick. In addition, calling this omission of a camera a mistake doesn't detract from what they did right. Why would it have to? Really, wow.
post #32 of 71
This is after all the iPhone SDK so who's to say this is not meant for the next iPhone? Sure the buttons are big but remember the OS has a scalable UI...
post #33 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

Apple wants to keep it's shipping details quiet because it doesn't want you jacking a cargo container filled with 16,000 iPads.

Nah, Apple isn't really worried about that. They're more sensitive about letting the competition find out what Apple's anticipated demand by market region would be for a new product line. If it were an existing product, they would probably be less sensitive as there would already be historical sales data.

The shipper would carry insurance anyhow (they would be liable for theft during transit). They are highly motivated to keeping unauthorized hands off the shipping containers.
post #34 of 71
Despite reading lots of speculation about the presence or absence of a front-facing camera and video chat capability on the iPads...I still don't really understand what the big deal is either way.

Video chat is one of those things that people only want for the cool factor of having it, not because it has any real use most of the time.

I've fielded dozens of MBPs through my organization, all of them with video chat capability. I've even encouraged it's use. But the fact is that most people don't want to be seen on the screen while talking. It's less convenient than a regular speaker phone, because you have to sit in front of the camera and appear to be paying attention. It's more intrusive. It's bandwidth intensive.

There's a reason why video phones aren't in use in 99% of homes, and it's not technical limitations - it's because people don't want to use them. Putting video chat on the iPad will make just about zero difference in the number of people actually *using* video chat, except to show off to their friends.

Disclaimer: video has it's place: Video teleconferencing, distance learning, virtual visits with people far, far away. But as a commonly used technology or an integral part of most users life...not in the foreseeable future.
post #35 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by wraithofwonder View Post

If one is going to do a video chat on an iPad, an integrated camera is the only thing that makes sense, otherwise it'd be in an awkward/bad position for the task at hand. Apple erred. Alright guys? They're not perfect and hopefully they'll fix this oops quick. In addition, calling this omission of a camera a mistake doesn't detract from what they did right. Why would it have to? Really, wow.

Accessories can include cases, and cases can hold a camera module anywhere on that case as long as it has means of connecting to the dock connector. So no, camera placement does not have to be poor with a 3rd party accessory, although nothing would be as streamlined as an integrated camera.

That said, it's pretty obvious that Apple intended to have a webcam in the iPad, and it appears to have been pulled for whatever reason. Although we won't know for sure until the device starts shipping. Either way a webcam is not a deal breaker for me, and i doubt it actually is for most people claiming it is a required feature. I wouldn't call it a mistake, because there is ample evidence that they wanted to include one.
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post #36 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmf2 View Post

Accessories can include these magical things called cases. Cases can hold a camera module anywhere on that case as long as it has means of connecting to the dock connector. So no, camera placement does not have to be poor with a 3rd party accessory.

Can we come off as just a little more condescending? My good man, there is nothing magical about adding more bulk and weight to a work of technological art. The dock connector is at the bottom of the device and the camera would best be had at the top. So whatever case or solution one has, it has to be big. In addition, you're wrong, camera placement would be poor. Here is one area where a notebook comparison does make sense. I've used third party notebook webcams and compared to the integrated solution, they suck. That last half inch matters more than you think.

Accept that Apple erred and move on.
post #37 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob55 View Post

Out of curiosity, what do you need GPS for? It's really not that kind of a portable device.

Oh, but it IS that kind of portable device! There are literally millions of potential users out in the field who are gushing to have GPS support in a device with a form factor and feature set like this. I work with just such a large user base, and am highly involved in digital mapping, GIS and other location-based services and web browsing that could really make use of a device like this. I tell ya, we're hopping up and down with excitement about the apps we can build for the iPad.
post #38 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by bradleysm View Post

I've fielded dozens of MBPs through my organization, all of them with video chat capability. I've even encouraged it's use. But the fact is that most people don't want to be seen on the screen while talking.

That may be because they're busy working.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bradleysm View Post

There's a reason why video phones aren't in use in 99% of homes, and it's not technical limitations - it's because people don't want to use them. Putting video chat on the iPad will make just about zero difference in the number of people actually *using* video chat, except to show off to their friends.

I claim BS. A still embarrassingly large percentage of American homes lack any form of broadband. Most homes with broadband fit a narrow definition of broadband. So you're wrong when you say it's not technical limitations, because for a great many, it sure as heck is.

Also, have you ever bothered to look at the video phones? All of them suck. Most have small screens and poor resolution and those that don't, their form and software aren't exactly user friendly. A great many don't use the Internet connection available, but rather, the actual phone line. And that's just it, who would this be best for? Not mom/dad telling dad/mom to get milk on their way home, but little Timmy talking with Grandma. They'll want to see one another.

Grandma doesn't want a laptop, it's too complicated. But Grandma can have an iPad.

For video calls to become common place, they need to work (broadband), need to be easy to make (common software/service and user-friendly), look good (decent resolution and a good screen) and be on a device that feels great to hold.

That's what most of you "what's the use of a camera" folk don't get. It's all about Grandma and Timmy. My heavens, I've seen grandparents and not just my own consider an Xbox 360 because it makes video chats "easy"; no other purpose in mind. This should be Apple's area and the iPad is one step away. Can you imagine our "it should have a camera" folk's frustration now? Microsoft is winning here.

I find the lack of imagination on this thread disturbing.
post #39 of 71
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post #40 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by bradleysm View Post

Video chat is one of those things that people only want for the cool factor of having it, not because it has any real use most of the time.

Not true! For users working on a distributed team, working via iChat is awesome. Great productivity tool. When you have to meet face to face, this can save my team ten hours in commute time *every time.*

While it would definitely be cool to be able to video chat from the back of a taxi, I think mobile use of iChat is more of a novelty. But I do think it's great for a user to be able to take photos with the device in the field, and caption/annotate them right then and there. EDIT: BTW, I'm talking about functionality that really needs the larger form factor of the iPad vs the iPhone. Here's an example, think of how taking a picture of your meal and reviewing the restaurant on Yelp would be easier if you had a full-size keyboard vs the iPhone.

So, the camera is a plus both ways.
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