Facetime on iPad

Discussion in 'iPad' started by millertime021, Jun 9, 2010.

  1. millertime021 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 28, 2010
    So in the WWDC keynote, Steve Jobs mentioned how Apple will ship 10's of millions of devices (not just iPhones) with facetime on them this year.

    Granted the iPhone 4 will sell way over 10 million, but do you think he could be referring to a new iPad set to launch late this year with the front facing camera?

    I expect the iPad will be a yearly refresh, much like the iPhone, but this made me think that there will be a possibility of a refresh sooner than later.

    Thoughts, Comments, Angry replies on why I'm oblivious and wrong.
  2. Don Kosak macrumors 6502a

    Don Kosak

    Mar 12, 2010
    Hilo, Hawaii
    My un-informed predictions follow:

    1 iChat is updated to support FaceTime, linking iPhone 4 to millions of Macs

    2 iPod Touch, September release gets FaceTime and front facing camera.

    3 We won't see FaceTime on iPad until 2012.
  3. MikhailT macrumors 601

    Nov 12, 2007
    Apple is going to push Facetime as an open standard, which means it's practically open to any device on any OS platform. It won't just be iOS devices but Android, Windows Mobile, Mac/Windows clients and so on.
  4. gillybean macrumors 6502a

    Jul 21, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    I read that Skype will try to make its video chat compatible with Facetime too.
  5. vanmacguy macrumors 6502a

    Aug 13, 2007
    Not where you live.
    My prediction is that Facetime will appear on iPad at the time of the next refresh. I also predict that the screen on the iPhone4 will appear on the next iPad. Those will be the primary reasons Apple tells you that you should upgrade your iPad.

    I'm wondering how they could repackage iChat into Facetime too and 'sell' it as a feature on iMacs and MacBooks? Ideas anyone? It's basically iChat on a phone.

    On a personal note, I'm really glad they released Facetime. Hopefully it'll begin the start of a resurgence in video chat. I always liked video chat but it's such old hat now. Or was until Facetime came along.
  6. dukeblue91 macrumors 65816


    Oct 7, 2004
    Raleigh, NC
    I wouldn't be surprised to see an external cam on the iPad once we are upgraded to iOS4 in the fall.
    Just something that clicks into the port and can rotate and swivel.
    It will be easy to make and market now with Face Time in iPhones.
  7. Cartaphilus macrumors 6502a

    Dec 24, 2007
    I hope you're right!

    Anybody have the expertise to opine on the technological feasibility of getting a cam to work through the iPad dock connector port? Assuming Apple doesn't oppose the effort, are there unusually high barriers to getting an third-party app to support A/V chat?
  8. MikhailT macrumors 601

    Nov 12, 2007
  9. alee macrumors 6502

    Jul 13, 2008
    New York, NY
    Challenges for FaceTime on the iPad:

    #1 is marketing - When the iPad was announced, iSteve said "there's no wrong way to hold it". You could hang onto the iPad in any orientation and the screen will right itself. If you put a camera on the iPad, you will lose consistency of interface by forcing a portrait or landscape orientation for FaceTime. Why can't you put a camera next to the ambient light sensor and just leave it there for landscape?

    Well, that's because of #2...

    Problem #2 is parallax - Anyone who's done a lot video conferencing has experienced parallax, where the person you're talking to is not looking you in the eye. They're talking to the image of your face on the screen, which is not where the camera is. The distance between where the camera is and the image of the remote party's face, how far the camera is from where your eyes are, and how centered the camera is will make the difference between a novelty and a useful tool.

    The iPhone 4 is small enough and going to be held far enough away from you to make parallax less of an issue... the iPad is going to share the same challenges you have with your desktop's webcam and Skype/iChat/etc.

    Problem #3 is transparency of service - FaceTime is open standards, but currently relies on the initiation of a phone call to establish communications. Let's remember that the killer feature of FaceTime is not video chat, but rather that it does not require any special sign-up to use it.

    It's not a big leap to think that all I need to do to start a FaceTime chat from my video chat enabled iPad to your iPhone 4 is to place a SIP call to yourphonenumber@att.net. The challenge is iPad to iPad, and iPhone 4 to iPad, where there's no universal unique identifier (phone number) to "call". MobileMe is a good platform to bridge this gap, but Apple needs to first resolve how to get an efficient always-on IM application to reside in the background that doesn't chew up battery. In short, just like email, my presence in MobileMe would need to be "always on" for someone to call me.

    None of these are insurmountable, but #2 is a physics problem that every video conferencing faces today, including those fancy Cisco TelePresence systems. Where the camera is oriented determines the experience.
  10. MikhailT macrumors 601

    Nov 12, 2007
    I don't think there'll be a camera onboard iPad but more of an external camera with a stand or something.
  11. digitalcoup macrumors newbie

    Jun 10, 2010
    I know it won't happen anytime soon, but I would like to see a camera hidden behind the display, to simulate looking the person in the eyes when you talk to them. Right now you have to either look at the camera (so the other person feels you are looking at them) or look at their picture (and therefore not directly into the camera).

    I know it seems minor, but I think it would really improve the video chat experience.

  12. JohnSFO macrumors regular


    Jun 10, 2010
    Fascinating response...thanks. I really hadn't thought about all the variables you listed! I have no doubt there will be a camera (and video chatting) on a future iPad, but the problems will need to be ironed out. It's not hard to envision the device being used for it, and maybe a camera behind the screen (as digitalcoup mentioned) might be part of the solution.
  13. mox358 macrumors 6502


    May 22, 2002
    If I'm not mistaken Apple solved this problem a while back... They patented a screen where between individual display pixels there were individual camera-like pixels that added up and made the image. The screen had the camera built in. It solves the problem, but I wonder how expensive that screen would be to build.

  14. alee macrumors 6502

    Jul 13, 2008
    New York, NY
    I do think it'll happen. I've spent quite a lot of time with various commercial video conference systems, and the technology is almost there on an enterprise level.

    It's not far fetched to think the next 3-4 years will bring some of that advanced technology to consumer devices. I'd guess the iPad will be the last of the devices to get it. My personal crystal ball says they get FaceTime working with all desktops and laptops in late 2010, they introduce a new Apple video conferencing system in 2011 to get their foot in the enterprise world, and 2012 is the year you take your video calls on your tablet.
  15. JohnSFO macrumors regular


    Jun 10, 2010
    I think it's a perfectly logical timeline, but I also think Apple might be pressed to include Facetime on an iPad in 2011, even if it's just a blown up version of what's offered on iPhone 4.

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