Given how wildly popular the Photo Booth software that ships on every new Mac is amongst trout-lipped, mall-loitering teenagers from sea to shining sea, it’s amazing to me that Apple’s gone four years without bringing Photo Booth to iOS. Recent plist references in iOS 4.3 beta firmware suggests, however, that Apple is soon to remedy that omission as soon as the iPad 2 drops… implying that Apple’s simply been waiting for the whole family of iOS devices to have a front-facing webcam.
Now a new patent has been found by Jack Purcher over at Patently Apple, not only confirming that Cupertino’s engineers have been working on bringing Photo Booth to iPhones, but also suggesting that it might be a more radical revision than first expected, taking advantage of the gamut of iOS hardware, including mic, GPS and accelerometer.
According to the patent, a future iOS Photo Booth would allow users to edit images not just by applying filters or settings through the touchscreen, but with sound, location, motion and other camera data. For example, you could apply a filter to an image by shaking your device. These filters could also be applied to video.
It sounds marginally useful, but frankly, when Photo Booth debuts on iOS 4.3 in the next month or so, I expect the actual implementation to be a lot more bare boned. Part of why users love Photo Booth is because it’s a simple vanity app, without a lot of extraneous features. I don’t expect Apple will mess with that formula too much.