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Front facing cameras still a possibility with Mango [Updated]

Although gyroscopes are expected to the big hardware change in "Mango" (along with some new CPUs), front facing cameras are sort of up in the air--nothing official from Microsoft on it, yet it doesn't seem forbidden either. Going further, now that Microsoft owns Skype, video calling all but seems a certainty at some point in the OSs continued development. (There were also some rumors awhile back that front-facing cameras were coming from @MS_Nerd)

Looking at the Windows Phone 7.1 SDK, we can still see the SelfPortraitCamera enumeration value listed. We say "still listed" because it is technically not new--it's been there since the 7.0 SDK but obviously was not put to use. Seeing though that MS has yet to remove it, there's a good chance that (a) WP7 has always been meant to have a front-facing camera and (b) it's still on the table.

Whether or not the APIs go deeper than that and the software can fully support it is another matter. The early Samsung Taylor developer devices did have a front facing camera, but ultimately the hardware was either not active or the APIs were yet to be written (or both). However, those 1st generation phones also lacked 4G--something that is added in "Mango" and usually desired in the U.S. for phones with front-facing cameras. Having said all that, we're betting on later "Mango" devices to have ff-cameras, just because we dont' want to get our hopes up.

Update: We've received confirmation from a trusted source (i.e. you've heard of him) that the new Mango hardware specs do list front-facing cameras, meaning we can expect some video goodness from some OEMs in the fall. This is looking to be confirmed, at least from our standpoint.

via: Leon Zandman (Twitter)

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Comments

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RogueCode says:

Personally I couldn't care for a front camera. I've had one on my last 3 phones - and never used it once (although that may be because I don't take self portrait pictures for my tweeny myspace page).

thenet says:

Your a fool for not liking front face camera. Dont you know it the latest thing now. ALso very useful.

thenet says:

I hope there will be a front face camera when mango comes in Fall. Please let it happen

nyc_rock says:

I am extremely impressed with WP. Great looking OS. I really think they did a great job of bringing the consistency of IOS and the flexibility of Android to the game. I am seriously considering a WP as my next smartphone. With that said, a FF camera is a must have. I travel for work and being able to video chat with my family has become one of my favorite things to do. Microsoft has such a great opportunity to nail skype integration. The ability to video chat seamlessly between Iphone (my wife), WP and PC would be a huge feather in WP cap. I really hope the next gen hardware has the FFC's. If not, I will be staying with Android or looking at the Iphone 5 come the Fall.

laserfloyd says:

With Skype surely becoming part of the WP7 experience, I'd assume more and more will have the FFC. Personally, I don't need one but the option is nice to have.

Myclevername says:

Why doesn't someone just invent a stupid snap on mirror that will allow you to use your rear camera for face time?

ejlee072006 says:

It doesn't matter if people use this feature or not... This is a standard for all smartphones.... Its a must have.. It totally male sense to have this, MSFT bought Skype to integrate it withe Os so please msft tell OEMs to hurry up and perfect this thing...OEMs,carriers Must!!!!!! SUPPORT!!! PAY THEM AGENTS MSFT!!! ITS NOT THAT MUCH.... I really feel for GOOGLE ANDROID... I KNOW THEY WORRIED ABOUT THIS....

thenet says:

People do not worry there will be a Front Face Camera for sure has new phone models from HTC, ACER, Samsung will offer this Fall Sept 2011. Have you ever looked at the Acer phone they use to demo the Mango it has a Front Face Camera on top of the phone. So gives you hint they will for sure and also will be using Skype App or Qik to use has a video chat. Forget Iphone 4 or 5 facetime it just piece of **** using wifi only is a joke!

Was there a doubt that front facing camera's would not be implemented by some of the OEM's? If so, I don't understand why given that Microsoft announced (before the Skype acquisition) that their would be a Skype app. From a forward thinking and scalability standpoint, it would seem that OEM's would consider including ffc's on their devices.