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  • More Evidence of Video Chat in iPhone 4.0 SDK


    Following the hardly earth-shattering but welcome news that the fourth-generation iPhone will feature a front-facing camera, there's some further hints as to the uses Apple has in mind for the camera in the iPhone OS 4 Beta 2 SDK, which was released last week. Video conferencing - possibly integrated with Apple's upcoming Game Center service - is, of course, on tap. Less welcome is the suggestion that video chatting will be supported over WiFi only, not over 3G data connections, and code snippets that indicate a device must be "registered" in order for video conferencing to be enabled.

    MacRumors dug through files in the SDK distribution and turned up a number of interesting status and error messages, all discussing "video conferencing" and "video calls." The error messages describing how dropped calls and misaddressed conferences would be handled give the clearest picture yet of how Apple intends to support video communications on devices with the hardware to handle it. First, as the ACCOUNTNOTREGISTEREDMESSAGE string contains “This device has not been registered for video conferencing,” it appears that Apple will require a separate account - possibly with a service fee - to make use of the feature. And the "could not connect" and "disconnected" error strings contain only references to WiFi:

    Code:
    IMAVCHATCOULDNOTCONNECTNOREMOTEWIFI = “The video call could not connect because a remote Wi-Fi connection could not be established.”; 
    
    IMAVCHATDISCONNECTEDNOLOCAL_WIFI = “The video call disconnected because the local Wi-Fi connection was lost.”;
    If Apple intended to support 3G calling, one would expect to see error strings for "no service" or "poor service." Looks like using video chat over 3G in iPhone 4.0 is going to require some clever workarounds.

    Apple's recently-announced Game Center service will, however, apparently support some kind of video communication features, as there are a raft of IMAV identifiers used for various error strings such as:

    Code:
    IMAVCHATERRORNOSUCHPLAYERID = “No Such Player ID”; 
    
    IMAVCHATERRORNOSUCHACHIEVEMENT = “No Such Achievement”; 
    
    IMAVCHATERRORUNRECOGNIZEDGAMEDESCRIPTIONHEADERS = “Unrecognised Game Descriptor Headers”; 
    
    IMAVCHATERRORNOSUCHGAME = “No Such Game”;
    An Apple analyst predicted last week that Apple would use video-enabled gaming to "create a compelling and very sticky subscription service." Ezra Gottheil, a senior analyst with Technology Business Research, said that he thought that Apple was going to go big with the new service: "They seem to be saying that there's more to the next quarter than the introduction of a new iPhone," he told Computerworld.

    image via MacRumors
    This article was originally published in forum thread: More Evidence of Video Chat in iPhone 4.0 SDK started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 34 Comments
    1. nautical79's Avatar
      nautical79 -
      Cant wait for the new iphone. Any how here in Mexico we need a few more weeks for release.
    1. Maarten16's Avatar
      Maarten16 -
    1. rickybobby's Avatar
      rickybobby -
      It looks nice but wait til they release it then we will see the sad part of it all.
    1. glassJAw's Avatar
      glassJAw -
      wifi only? that's kinda whack.
    1. n00neimp0rtant's Avatar
      n00neimp0rtant -
      "Evidence" Really?? I mean yeah it's a neat find...but the phone HAS A CAMERA ON THE FRONT OF IT. If that wasn't enough evidence to close the case then someone has a case of chronic skepticism.
    1. ty22's Avatar
      ty22 -
      I think phone makers and phone software makers are screwed until all the 4G networks become nationwide, because there really isn't too many things left to do with smart phones anymore, unless they have a wifi-like connection such as WiMax. This is a good example.
    1. Antman217's Avatar
      Antman217 -
      Only wifi?! Hopefully My3G or 3G Unrestrictor will fix that lol!
    1. n00neimp0rtant's Avatar
      n00neimp0rtant -
      Quote Originally Posted by glassJAw View Post
      wifi only? that's kinda whack.
      Can you even imagine the latency if it were for 3G? While I always say "give them the option," it doesn't seem practical.
    1. glassJAw's Avatar
      glassJAw -
      ^ why half *** a feature like that? Either do it right or don't even bring it to the table.
    1. politicalslug's Avatar
      politicalslug -
      3G simply doesn't have the bandwidth to support video chat without making too large a sacrifice in quality. They could offer it, but it would bog down the network and the quality would still be garbage. WiFi only is a much better solution. Video 'texting' would be much more practical, say with a 30 second per clip limitation. That'd be cool. Even a better way to send voice messages would welcome.
    1. playboii's Avatar
      playboii -
      wow if they do not feature video conference phone calls this would suck major D*CK! if its only feature for the game services then I would have no use for it. other then then video calls while on wifi would be more understandable because then we could just use mywi to make the calls and ALSO this would reduce people trying to know where you are 24/7 by asking you to turn on the video call on command. so this is actually good because not everyone is always on wifi and not everyone knows how to jailbreak and run it with mywi.
    1. n00neimp0rtant's Avatar
      n00neimp0rtant -
      Quote Originally Posted by politicalslug View Post
      Video 'texting' would be much more practical, say with a 30 second per clip limitation. That'd be cool. Even a better way to send voice messages would welcome.
      That would be REALLY neat. I actually heard that some cell phone carriers are in the process of developing a brand-new "voice chat" feature, where you can actually speak to and listen to another person and have full conversations with them. It seems like it would be much faster, personal, and natural than texting or instant messaging, too! Absolutely revolutionary!
    1. whereswaldo's Avatar
      whereswaldo -
      front facing cameras aren't that great, my current phone has one and they are normally bad quality + you rarely use them
    1. Micara57's Avatar
      Micara57 -
      I can't wait for that, only thing is...how much extra is it going to cost? :/
    1. MetallicaFan1991's Avatar
      MetallicaFan1991 -
      ^What? I take it your being sarcastic lol. That was a really stupid post by politicalslug.

      FYI the networks do not revolve around AT&T, just because they can't handle video calling, doesn't mean networks here can't. Video calling won't be an everyday thing anyway.
    1. slbenficaboy's Avatar
      slbenficaboy -
      Quote Originally Posted by n00neimp0rtant View Post
      That would be REALLY neat. I actually heard that some cell phone carriers are in the process of developing a brand-new "voice chat" feature, where you can actually speak to and listen to another person and have full conversations with them. It seems like it would be much faster, personal, and natural than texting or instant messaging, too! Absolutely revolutionary!
      Isnt that just calling someone? Or am I missing sarcasim?
    1. scatman10's Avatar
      scatman10 -
      Why does everyone act so surprised? Hasn't apple's trend always been give the people what they want little by little? Example.... Even though it was possible, they never enabled mms on iPhone 2g! Yes the technology is at apple's fingertips but they simply put it off to get more people to buy their new/upgraded product? This along with how many others mentioned before me that the AT&T 3G network doesn't seem to be able to handle this kind of bandwidth consumption. Yes it makes sense to allow it via WIFI only. A new feature is a new feature. Hell I wouldn't doubt it if they didn't include iChat functionality right away. Don't act so suprised peeps it's a different day same ol' **** at Apple!

      Also @ MetallicaFan
      Haven't you noticed that it really does all fall back on ATT? The iPhone's features revolve around the U.S. ATT ability to support it. Chances are if its not possible in the U.S. then they are not gonna make it usable for other countries?
    1. n00neimp0rtant's Avatar
      n00neimp0rtant -
      Quote Originally Posted by slbenficaboy View Post
      Isnt that just calling someone? Or am I missing sarcasim?


      Then again, the best sarcasm is that which is so good, it goes over others' heads.
    1. rickybobby's Avatar
      rickybobby -
      I want to know know if all phones will be able to accept video calls or will it be device specific
    1. AlexCrammer's Avatar
      AlexCrammer -
      Then why doesn't the iPhone that Gizmodo found have a front facing camera?