Microsoft confirms Mango front facing cameras, Skype soon [Updated: Video proof!]

At Microsoft Tech Ed in New Zealand Microsoft has finally confirmed that front facing cameras (as well as support for them) is officially coming with the Mango update which is due to hit soon.

The news was confirmed in a session at Tech Ed today by a Microsoft staff member, and confirmed in a tweet from Windows Phone NZ. We've seen a few Mango devices so far, but only one is available in the wild. Based on this news, its likely that the majority of Windows Phone "7.5" hardware will sport a front facing camera.

Neowin can confirm this news, as staff members saw devices a few months back already sporting front facing cameras. We also reported back on January 10 that Microsoft was working on a FaceTime competitor for the platform, uncovering references in the SDK for a "portrait camera."

In addition to this, Microsoft hinted at Skype integration soon, with the same staff member saying that the front-facing camera in 7.5 devices will support the Skype integration that is coming soon, however, it's still not clear on whether or not this will be an app, or a later OS update.

Last month an icon was spotted in the Mango camera application that allows the user to switch which camera is taking a photo, as seen below.

Mango is the major update to Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 platform, which brings many new features such as multitasking, IE9 support, deep social networking, integrated chat and more. The RTM software is expected to be available to retail devices in the next few weeks and new Mango hardware is releasing around the world slowly, with Fujistu releasing the first handset today.

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Maybe it's just me, but I have zero interest in video calling. Of my last 4 phones, 3 had front cameras, and they never got used. My current one (HTC Desire) doesn't have one and it's not been missed in the slightest.

Slugsie said,
Maybe it's just me, but I have zero interest in video calling. Of my last 4 phones, 3 had front cameras, and they never got used. My current one (HTC Desire) doesn't have one and it's not been missed in the slightest.

I kind of agree, I've only ever made one video call in the entire time I've owned mobile phones and I don't miss it on my current mobiles either, still, it's a nice feature to have.

outlook is integrated, messenger (live/facebook chat) is integrated into mango RTM....yet still they all sign out at screen lock.....so its not about first party app/integration keeping wifi signal alive....the OS just drops the wifi....

hence with skype we have no hope either.....first the voice call will definitely consume more data on 3G.....so we cant use skype on 3G....

they introduced this "battery saver" option under mango....i just hope they come out with a fix...and put a damn toggle option there for ppl wanting to keep wifi alive under screen lock

hobier said,
....i just hope they come out with a fix...and put a damn toggle option there for ppl wanting to keep wifi alive under screen lock

Not perfect, but WiFi stays enabled if the phone is plugged into a charging source. This is how wireless sync works, if you're plugged into a charging source longer than 10 minutes it'l try to sync with your computer.

hobier said,
outlook is integrated, messenger (live/facebook chat) is integrated into mango RTM....yet still they all sign out at screen lock.....so its not about first party app/integration keeping wifi signal alive....the OS just drops the wifi....

hence with skype we have no hope either.....first the voice call will definitely consume more data on 3G.....so we cant use skype on 3G....

they introduced this "battery saver" option under mango....i just hope they come out with a fix...and put a damn toggle option there for ppl wanting to keep wifi alive under screen lock


There's a hack around for NoDo that fixes it. It'll likely move to Mango eventually. It makes sense to try and save the battery but I agree there shoudl be an option.

for people using wifi on windows phone.....one important thing to note here is that it drops wifi on screenlock....hence messenger and soon skype will sign out too......So whats the use.

hobier said,
for people using wifi on windows phone.....one important thing to note here is that it drops wifi on screenlock....hence messenger and soon skype will sign out too......So whats the use.

Wont it then just pickup the 3g signal? im pretty sure chat cant consume that much data...

brent3000 said,

Wont it then just pickup the 3g signal? im pretty sure chat cant consume that much data...

3G consumes more battery than Wifi....secondly....with email fetches....etc it will consume data....so ppl on 200 MB data package its really deal breaker.....

hobier said,
for people using wifi on windows phone.....one important thing to note here is that it drops wifi on screenlock....hence messenger and soon skype will sign out too......So whats the use.

Skype being a, now, first party app/intergrated service it should keep working in the background unlike other 3rd party apps that lose a connection. And yes, once wifi turns off it just switches over to your normal carrier 3G signal, which could be fine or not depending on what you were doing before the screen locked.

I still have to expect skype will be one of those apps that will probably be able to keep wifi going even when the screen locks until you close the app yourself, it makes sense to be this way since you're using it for phone calls as well.

hobier said,

3G consumes more battery than Wifi....secondly....with email fetches....etc it will consume data....so ppl on 200 MB data package its really deal breaker.....


Not true. 3G uses less battery than WiFi by far. Email fetches? I have a 250MB data plan with push on 24/7 and barely break 100mb.

Another feature to check off the list and move on, the arguments against WP will basically just come down to if one likes the tile UI or not at this point.

GP007 said,
Another feature to check off the list and move on, the arguments against WP will basically just come down to if one likes the tile UI or not at this point.

Exactly. Boy is that going to be nice. It's amazing to me what silly or little used features are earth shattering for some people. The day I don't have to hear about custom ringtones again I'm throwing a party! LOL

GP007 said,
WP will basically just come down to if one likes the tile UI or not at this point.

I must say i was very against it thinking how little sence the UI was... But since using it for almost a year with my HD2 it was enought to make me go out and buy a HD7 and not regreting it one bit
Like Android and iOS, its diffrent and takes some getting used to... but it works... and after the learning stages i find it a great UI now

brent3000 said,

I must say i was very against it thinking how little sence the UI was... But since using it for almost a year with my HD2 it was enought to make me go out and buy a HD7 and not regreting it one bit
Like Android and iOS, its diffrent and takes some getting used to... but it works... and after the learning stages i find it a great UI now

That's good to hear, I also have an HD7 and I think that what you've said is the case with a lot of people. They hate the look of WP7 at first but once they try it they like it and see how intuitive the Tile UI really is.

GP007 said,
Another feature to check off the list and move on, the arguments against WP will basically just come down to if one likes the tile UI or not at this point.

Really? So would you be so kind to show me how I can backup my SMS with WP 7.5? Something I was able to do, among many other still missing features, with WM 6.XX?
TIA

Great news. I hope to see further Skype integration into the OS as well. Maybe in Tango. And it would be nice to be able to take a picture with the front facing camera as well. lol

If it has Skype, I'll be switching to the cheapest phone plan available. I'm around WiFi 99% of my life and at 2 cents a minute it's practically free.

Excellent news, Skype for Windows Phone has a really beautiful app too!
Skype easily kills Facetime and all other!

greenwizard88 said,
I didn't think Skype has an app...

It will be an app at first, as it was in production prior to the purchase Microsoft made, and will be integrated down the line after the acquisition is complete.

I asked Brandon Watson about this at the Mango conference earlier this year. He couldn't tell me anything inevitably but it's a welcomed and nice addition!