Signs Point To a Face Timing iPod Touch

Despite the fact that video chat has existed on phones for quite some time, when Apple announced FaceTime for the iPhone 4, it was hailed as a revelation.  It’s easy enough to start that almost anyone can use it, and Apple does a great job showing the moments where it would come in handy.  We might never have an experience like those advertised, but it’s always nice to dream.  The downsides?  Both parties need an iPhone 4, and it only works on WiFi at the moment.  Perhaps the latter could be a bright spot.

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This week, an image leaked out of an iPhone parts supplier that looks an awful lot like a new iPod Touch face. The face has two holes: the standard large hole for the home button, and a smaller hole on the other side of the screen that could possibly house a front-facing camera {Mac Rumors}.  This isn’t the first time we’ve seen leaked iPod Touches with new features.  Last year there was a model making the rounds that including a camera on the back of the device,  Tear-downs even revealed what could have been a spot on the board for a camera sensor.  Alas, we were given a mere iPod nano with a back-mounted VGA camera for shooting low-res video.

A front-facing camera is fine, but Steve Jobs made it very clear at the iPhone 4 announcement that FacTime works better than say Skype because it only requires a phone number, not a buddy list.  That seems to exclude the iPod Touch from getting in on the FaceTime action.  However, in the latest iOS beta, iOS 4.1 beta 3, a feature was added to allow Face Time with just an email address {Engadget}.  Presumably this is the work-around for iPod Touch owners.  It wouldn’t seem too limited since Face Time can only be done over WiFi at the moment, anyway.  Plus, it will allow those who want an iPhone 4 for FaceTime, but don’t want to switch carriers, or who don’t want to buy a smartphone, to finally use FaceTime.  They will likely still need an email address, however, which means we’ll all have to walk grandma through setting up a Gmail account.

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