Home Did Steve Jobs Accidentally Confirm Cameras for Next Gen iPads?

Did Steve Jobs Accidentally Confirm Cameras for Next Gen iPads?

There was a flurry of activity today at the YBCA Theater in San Francisco as Apple unveiled a whole slew of new products and services to the public. With all of that information to remember, it’s no surprise that Steve Jobs may have let something slip out that he perhaps wasn’t intending to say. While discussing the latest version of the iOS software, Jobs said something that may hint that cameras will be coming to the iPad. So what was it that he said?

One of the tent poles of Jobs’ keynote today focused on the iOS software and upgrades being made on the iPhone and iPod Touch. Next week, owners of these devices will be treated to some new features, including the ability to upload HD video over WiFi, TV show rentals, multiplayer Game Center and various bug fixes for hardware issues. But the most interesting new feature is the inclusion of high dynamic range (HDR) functionality into the iPhone’s (and the new iPod Touch’s) camera.

HDR photography is a practice by which three photos at varying exposures are blended together into one image. By picking the best parts of each photo, the picture becomes much richer as detail in shadows and light are more visible. Here’s an example from a photo I took and ran through an HDR app on my iPhone. It’s a cool feature, but what does that have to do with the iPad getting a camera?

When Jobs went over some of the features of iOS 4.2 – the iteration in which the iPad would get all of the 4.0 and 4.1 goodness – he said the iPad would have all of the new features the iPhone is getting from 4.1, including HDR photography. As far as the rest of the world knows, the iPad doesn’t have a camera, so one could assume that either the iPad is getting a camera, or Jobs just misspoke when he rattled off the list of the features the iPad would be getting.

The later is possible, but why wouldn’t Apple put a camera on the iPad. When the iPad was first dissected, a placeholder frame for mounting a camera was found built into the design of the current model. A forward-facing camera on the iPad certainly makes sense (for things like FaceTime), and with all the extra room, they could make the quality of the camera match that of the iPhone’s outward facing camera. And hey, why not slap another on the outside to take photographs in beautiful HDR for viewing on that big lovely screen Apple loves to talk about?

Apple seems to be in love with cameras these days, anyhow. The iPod Touch now has a two-camera system just like the iPhone – a push by Apple to get more people using FaceTime. Why not get people FaceTiming on their iPads too? Rumors of a smaller 7-inch iPad have been circulating as well, and what better time than November to launch that when iOS 4.2 is released?

What do you think? Did Jobs let one slip? Or was it a mental error as he rattled of features? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

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