iChat process found running in iPhone OS 4

Just because Apple doesn't mention a feature at their special iPhone OS 4 event doesn't mean that it's not there. It has been long rumored that the next version of the iPhone will contain a front facing camera with video chat capabilities. While small hints at this function have been leaked here and there, nothing implies its existence more than this.

Below are two images from TUAW showing a process called "iChatAgent" which is present in the iPhone OS 4 SDK that Apple released yesterday. This would allow the next version of the iPhone to handle video chatting--a highly requested feature. It is also noted by MacRumors that the SDK contains many references to a front-facing camera. Perhaps Steve Jobs has a "one more thing" planned for his next iPhone event.

iChatAgent

iChatAgent Process

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Video chat is pretty useless. Everyone at my workplace has web cams on their laptops with OCS that can do video chat - but nobody ever uses it. Even our conference rooms have cameras and projectors for video conferencing to remote offices, but even when it's as convenient as pressing a button and the other room on the other side of the country (or sometimes, the other side of the world) comes up on the projector, it really adds nothing to the conversation, and we usually end up replacing it with a Powerpoint or shared desktop within seconds.

I can only see it as being more useless on a cell phone, as then you have to hold your phone out, facing you, the entire time you're talking - keeping you from doing whatever-else while talking.

Sounds cool in theory, but in practice, it's just a novelty.

JonathanMarston said,
Video chat is pretty useless. Everyone at my workplace has web cams on their laptops with OCS that can do video chat - but nobody ever uses it. Even our conference rooms have cameras and projectors for video conferencing to remote offices, but even when it's as convenient as pressing a button and the other room on the other side of the country (or sometimes, the other side of the world) comes up on the projector, it really adds nothing to the conversation, and we usually end up replacing it with a Powerpoint or shared desktop within seconds.

I can only see it as being more useless on a cell phone, as then you have to hold your phone out, facing you, the entire time you're talking - keeping you from doing whatever-else while talking.

Sounds cool in theory, but in practice, it's just a novelty.

And then you have a device with a front facing cam that use to be useful for taking video and pictures with but ruined that. Would be lame if they did front facing imo.

JonathanMarston said,
Video chat is pretty useless. Everyone at my workplace has web cams on their laptops with OCS that can do video chat - but nobody ever uses it.
Depends on your business. With mine, we use face-to-face calls frequently.

Kirkburn said,
Depends on your business. With mine, we use face-to-face calls frequently.

I'm curious what added benefit you've found using video calls over voice calls. For us, it really only ever seems to be used "because we can."

Kirkburn said,
Depends on your business. With mine, we use face-to-face calls frequently.

A laptop makes sense though. A phone on the other hand doesn't. Unless you are a 14 year old myspace teen, pointing a camera at anything without seeing it on your screen isn't hard. That is why the cam's face the other way. It's functionality as a camera would diminish greatly in a way most users would complain about. Maybe if it were on a swivel and you could face it either way depending on what you want to use it for?

SputnikGamer said,

A laptop makes sense though. A phone on the other hand doesn't. Unless you are a 14 year old myspace teen, pointing a camera at anything without seeing it on your screen isn't hard. That is why the cam's face the other way. It's functionality as a camera would diminish greatly in a way most users would complain about. Maybe if it were on a swivel and you could face it either way depending on what you want to use it for?

And who said the original rear-facing camera would be removed? Most phones of that kind have two cameras, one is a VGA and is front-facing for video calls, while the other faces back and supports a much higher quality.

Beyond that, I can't help but be amused at people claiming that video-calls will be the new hype. I used to work for a cell phone operator and remember when they released video calls... if they had more than one call/month, I'd be seriously surprised.

Thankfully I will have an Evo 4G with front facing camera by June. Waiting for Apple to implement things can be frustrating.

Yep. I'm 99% certain they'll announce a new iPhone at WWDC with iChat and a front-facing camera, followed by a new iPod touch (and iPad?) in September. Maybe we'll see Photo Booth on the iPad someday?

amon91 said,
Yep. I'm 99% certain they'll announce a new iPhone at WWDC with iChat and a front-facing camera, followed by a new iPod touch (and iPad?) in September. Maybe we'll see Photo Booth on the iPad someday?

You'll never see proper functioning bluetooth on an Apple portable product because Apple doesn't want you to buy something off itunes and then share it with someone a few seconds later.

thealexweb said,

You'll never see proper functioning bluetooth on an Apple portable product because Apple doesn't want you to buy something off itunes and then share it with someone a few seconds later.

Photobooth != bluetooth

:-)

thealexweb said,

You'll never see proper functioning bluetooth on an Apple portable product because Apple doesn't want you to buy something off itunes and then share it with someone a few seconds later.


you made no sense there at all... he didn't even mention bluetooth... lol

Amon... I doubt they'll release a new iPad in Sept. and if anything the new iphone will be released in July at some point

chisss said,

I doubt they'll release a new iPad in Sept.

I could see it happening considering the holidays would provide new hype to keep sales moving.

SputnikGamer said,

I could see it happening considering the holidays would provide new hype to keep sales moving.


They are still building the ones that came out on Sat! lol I don't see a new iPAd coming out til next year... that would be foolish from Apple's standpoint... wanna **** people off? release a better product 5 months from now... lol

chisss said,

They are still building the ones that came out on Sat! lol I don't see a new iPAd coming out til next year... that would be foolish from Apple's standpoint... wanna **** people off? release a better product 5 months from now... lol

Wanna make people happy, release the usually less buggy second gen faster for those waiting for the second gen before buying. It goes ways. Either way, should be interesting to see what they do with the second gen whenever it comes out.

I've never seen anyone request iChat before lol. But with the popularity of the iPhone it could be a huge success. But then again how many people will be using the next version of the phone? There is a long list of people who use iPhone 2g,3g and 3Gs. not everyone will upgrade to 4G just to get video chat. So if it really does get added I think it will be one for the future as the 4G gets cheaper the more people will upgrade to it.

joemailey said,
I've never seen anyone request iChat before lol. But with the popularity of the iPhone it could be a huge success. But then again how many people will be using the next version of the phone? There is a long list of people who use iPhone 2g,3g and 3Gs. not everyone will upgrade to 4G just to get video chat. So if it really does get added I think it will be one for the future as the 4G gets cheaper the more people will upgrade to it.

Not what happened when the 3GS came out... people upgraded to the 3GS because it was faster and had better camera (focus). If I had the chance to upgrade I would, not for the video chat but because I'm sure it's gonna be more powerful.
Unfortunately I upgraded to the 3GS last year so I am not eligible for an upgrade lol

joemailey said,
I've never seen anyone request iChat before lol.

Its the primary messenger in OSX. Basically MSN Messenger = iChat except more people would use iChat because it runs off the same service AOL Messenger uses so you have two markets to go from. Having a full featured chat service on a phone would be nice considering most phones leave it at text messaging some server that then forwards your text to the messenger service.

I'm crossing my fingers. Not for video chatting (I'd never use it), but because I love iChat on OS X and would love to see it on my iPhone and iPad.

This would allow the next version of the iPhone to handle video chatting--a highly requested feature

Just how many people use video chat even in countries that fully support it?

/- Razorfold said,

Just how many people use video chat even in countries that fully support it?

Probably the same amount of people who used their mobile phone as a key web browsing device before the original iPhone came out. Mobile internet and video conferencing on a phone are both great ideas and both were badly implemented from the get go. The problem has never been the concept but the software implementation! I imagine iChat will make it extremely easy and much more convenient to use it

DomZ said,

Probably the same amount of people who used their mobile phone as a key web browsing device before the original iPhone came out. Mobile internet and video conferencing on a phone are both great ideas and both were badly implemented from the get go. The problem has never been the concept but the software implementation! I imagine iChat will make it extremely easy and much more convenient to use it

Opera mobile and mini existed before the iPhone came out. Back then it was the best mobile browser, and it still holds that crown. Not to mention it is the most used mobile browser.

As for video conferencing? I don't see how you can implement it any different from the way it is now. You see the others guy face, you see your face, and you can talk. If you want to start a video conference call, you dial (or select) that persons number and click video call. How much easier can you get from that?

Nothing was badly implemented, or hard to use, so please don't try and feed me the crap that Apple feeds you.

DomZ said,

Probably the same amount of people who used their mobile phone as a key web browsing device before the original iPhone came out.

That logic would work if it wasn't already widely supported. Video calls were the big thing about 4 years ago (at least here in Britain), and it was one of the main driving points of the company "3" who were just starting off back then.

Of course it never took off because who actually wants to video call on a regular basis?

/- Razorfold said,

Opera mobile and mini existed before the iPhone came out. Back then it was the best mobile browser, and it still holds that crown. Not to mention it is the most used mobile browser.

In worldwide useage, Opera barely beats out the iPhone: http://gs.statcounter.com/#mob...er-ww-monthly-200903-201004

but in North America, Opera is barely a blip on the chart:
http://gs.statcounter.com/#mob...er-na-monthly-200903-201004

even in Europe, the iPhone wipes the floor with Opera:
http://gs.statcounter.com/#mob...er-eu-monthly-200903-201004

Asia and Africa seem to be the Opera strongholds:
http://gs.statcounter.com/#mob...er-as-monthly-200903-201004
http://gs.statcounter.com/#mob...er-af-monthly-200903-201004

And Nokia seems to be the popular choice in South America (although Opera is gaining):
http://gs.statcounter.com/#mob...er-sa-monthly-200903-201004

roadwarrior said,

In worldwide useage, Opera barely beats out the iPhone: http://gs.statcounter.com/#mob...er-ww-monthly-200903-201004

Right so a whole 9%+ more is barely beating out the iPhone. Ok. Note the trend? iPhone declining, Opera increasing.

but in North America, Opera is barely a blip on the chart:
http://gs.statcounter.com/#mob...er-na-monthly-200903-201004

Understandable as most phones either never make it or get released months later in America. And not to mention most people here are locked into 2 year contracts with their phone.

Look at the trend again, iPhone declining and in this case RIM gaining.

even in Europe, the iPhone wipes the floor with Opera:
http://gs.statcounter.com/#mob...er-eu-monthly-200903-201004

That was surprising to be honest.

And Asia is the continent with the most people in the world and quite possibly the ones that buy the most phones too. I'm from Hong Kong and I've seen people upgrade their phones every time a new one comes out.

Edited by -Razorfold, Apr 9 2010, 5:47pm :

/- Razorfold said,

.Nothing was badly implemented, or hard to use, so please don't try and feed me the crap that Apple feeds you.

But lets instead listern to your continuous anti-apple drivel again and again.

evo_spook said,

But lets instead listern to your continuous anti-apple drivel again and again.

Oh please point out where in my post does it mention anything against Apple? Video Calls debuted in Japan where they lasted for some time before being forgotten. Same thing happened in other parts of Asia. Same with Europe. America, though, never really had the bandwidth to support video chat.

Even so, everyone made such a big thing out about Video Chat, claiming it was the next big thing since sliced bread. Look where we are now. Nobody cares about it anymore because its not practical. Hell almost every phone sold abroad has a front facing camera, and has had one for years. How many people have you seen or know that use / used it?

Edited by -Razorfold, Apr 9 2010, 6:26pm :

/- Razorfold said,

Right so a whole 9%+ more is barely beating out the iPhone. Ok.

Actually, Mobile Safari is beating Opera, even in the worldwide stats (just barely). I didn't (and likely you didn't) notice that those charts have iPod touch and iPhone listed separately, even though they are the same OS and browser (which makes no sense since they list ALL Android devices together, and the same with all BlackBerry devices).

roadwarrior said,

Actually, Mobile Safari is beating Opera, even in the worldwide stats (just barely). I didn't (and likely you didn't) notice that those charts have iPod touch and iPhone listed separately, even though they are the same OS and browser (which makes no sense since they list ALL Android devices together, and the same with all BlackBerry devices).

That's not the only thing wrong with that graph:

1. Opera mini is a proxy based browser, as such it doesn't always report the correct useragent.

2. Opera mobile almost always displays a desktop user agent with no reference to it being a mobile device. For example:

Mobile Safari useragent: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 3_1_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/528.18 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile/7D11 Safari/528.16

My HD2 (stock) useragent: Opera/9.70 (Windows NT 5.1; U; en) TMO-US_LEO

3. Some change their Opera Mobile useragent, sometimes even to Safari so they can get the iPhone formatted webpages on their phone.

4. It's also only one statistic site. For example net applications last year claimed 66% of the mobile browser market belonged to mobile Safari, something a lot of people disputed because they ignored Opera Mini. This one claimed last year Safari had 24%.

/- Razorfold said,

Just how many people use video chat even in countries that fully support it?

Well, I do. It's free and pretty handy whenever I'm away from the computer, as family is too far away (with my pay-as-you-go plan, international calls - including videocalls - aren't that expensive). Just because this feature didn't achieve much success in the US doesn't mean that is not used in the rest of the World.

/- Razorfold said,

Just how many people use video chat even in countries that fully support it?


as far as i know, no one here in sweden and we havehad video calls in just about every cellphone for several years now...