Do iOS icons confirm iPad 2 front-facing cam?

You didn't hear it from me, but the latest beta for iOS 4.3 for iPad appears to shows icons that indicate a front-facing camera.

And it can also slice a tomato after chewing through a tin can. Matt Hickey/CNET

It's almost considered certain among fanboys that Apple's next iPad--which so far we're imaginatively calling the iPad 2--will come out in the next couple of months. It might be as early as April, as it was April of last year that saw the launch of the original iPad, which now has 87 percent of tablet market share .

Because the supposed unveiling is so close--some say within the next few weeks--the gossip mongers are in overdrive trying to find out what it will and won't have. And the latest rumor, which we spotted on Mac Rumors, features what may be evidence of something people have wanted since the original: a front-facing camera.

Of course, a front camera almost seems a given, since the iPhone 4 and the latest iPod Touch both already include such a device to allow FaceTime to work. Besides that, a graphic in the latest beta of iOS 4.3 for iPad has new default icons on the homescreen that appear to show a few applications that utilize such a camera. One's simply "Camera;" one's "PhotoBooth," an app that every MacBook and iMac currently ships with; and the last is "FaceTime," Apple's mobile video chat software.

The icons themselves are small, as is the graphic they're part of. But blow them up, like we did above using Photoshop, you can extrapolate what the text under the icons say, with very little imagination.

It's possible that Apple is just throwing us a curveball (were I an Apple engineer I, too, would be tempted to mess with the minds of fanboys), but this looks legit. While we may not get Retina with the next iPad, it's indeed looking like we'll get at least one camera.

About the author

    With more than 15 years experience testing hardware (and being obsessed with it), Crave freelance writer Matt Hickey can tell the good gadgets from the great. He also has a keen eye for future technology trends. Matt has blogged for publications including TechCrunch, CrunchGear, and most recently, Gizmodo. Matt is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CBS Interactive. E-mail Matt.


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