More confirmation of front-facing camera support in WP7 Mango

Yesterday, we noted how the Beta 1 Mango developer tools still had a reference to a 'self-portrait camera' i.e. front facing camera. We then later received confirmation from a trusted source that indeed, the new Mango hardware specs allow for front-facing cameras, an idea not too crazy when you throw in the 4G support.

Today, we saw the release of the Beta 2 Mango dev tools and intrepid reader 'Q' has forwarded this screenshot showing a brand new icon in the camera application. That icon, is not on NoDo devices nor current preview Mango devices either. To us, it clearly looks like a button to toggle the rear and front cameras, giving even more evidence that this fall video conference chats will be popular and third party devs can release software that utilizes the new camera.

(Thanks, Q, for the screenshot)

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • I'm really surprised this feature turned up, to be honest. Not quite sure what software will be able to utilize it just yet, unless Microsoft surprises us with Skype integration upon Mango launch. Wouldn't that be cool...
  • A lot of software would be able to utilize it! Photobooth apps, video chatting, virtual reality.. could probably think of ways to use it in any app!!
  • Skype app and Lync apps are coming for sure, so you can bet those will work. Skype integration will come later but isn't needed for functionality of video chat.
  • I guess no one ever think about Messenger video, everyone thinking about skype.....I mean, skype is good too, but don't forget messenger. for now I think messenger video integration would be nice. xbox, pc and phone
  • Skype have just released video calling on Android (already available on iDevice), so lets hope Skype will be available on Mango
  • Looks like someone broke their NDA....
  • There is an NDA for Mango Dev Tools?
  • Yeah, its in the fine print. There's been some confusion to why devs are under it and reporters are not.My guess is so that as the more technical among us discover these new things that haven't been properly announced, they have to approach websites like wpcentral to get the word out. Which then fuels the public hype engine more than say in a thread in a developer forum somewhere would. (At least that's my rationale).
  • The NDA is only for the dev ROM. The dev tools are fine, they don't have access to everything the actual devices do.
  • It's ok, I'm sure that the tipster 'Q' will be protected by Bond...
  • Shame my HD7 won't be able to utilise it :(
  • new device when front cameras comes out. I will be upgrading
  • How do you access the camera in the emulator?
  • F7
  • Thanks, it works.
  • Im definitely upgrading gyroscope, front facing camera better hardware. Many Win 7.5 has me jittery i cant wait. ( Actually i can wait but would like to have it very soon hahaha)
  • I really don't understand why phones are designed in such a way. I clearly remember seeing a phone with a single turning camera at least 5 years ago. It was at the top of the phone and you just had to roll it the other way to get a "front-facing" camera. My Omnia 7's camera is at the top anyway, and most phones are built the same way. Why not just change the design a bit?Sometimes all we need is a design that's just a little bit smarter.
  • I've been saying the same thing for a while! I had a phone like that years ago; it was an LG flip feature phone, where the camera was on this cylindrical piece where the flip hinge was. You were able to turn the dial to make the phone face away from the main LCD or towards it for self portraits.If they made a design where you could flip the camera up from across the top of the device to use as the FFC, they wouldn't need to add the cheaper, lower quality camera.
  • im guess integrity issue, but im only guessingotoh, how about a slide out then turn :D, that way it won't take up any screen estate, may be Nokia will do something similar lol
  • I would equate the idea of a moving camera to the same idea behind washing machines... The more moving parts, the more often things break. WHen buying things that are used daily, you want to look into how many moving parts things have. Monolithic structures will almost always win out from a fatigue testing standpoint compared to a a non-monolotithic structure.I.e. Do you think a slide-out keyboard phone breaks more or less often than a non slide-out keyboard?