New iPad Pro's Center Stage camera trick can work with any video conferencing app

iPad Pro 2021
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple tends to lock users into its ecosystem, so when the Center Stage video call feature on the new iPad Pro 2021 was announced, we assumed it would only work with FaceTime, but it turns out Center Stage will actually support other video conferencing apps too.

Apple’s official overview page for the iPad Pro 2021 says as much, so you may well be able to use it with the likes of Zoom and Microsoft Teams in the near future – though presumably the apps will need to opt into it.

Center Stage takes advantage of the 12MP ultra-wide front-facing camera on the new tablet coupled with machine learning, to make sure you’re always in the center of the frame, even if you’re walking around during a call. It automatically pans to follow you, and if there’s more than one person in the frame then the view will expand to include them.

Ready for the mainstream

This isn’t a totally new idea – we’ve already seen it on the likes of the Amazon Echo Show 10, but with Apple’s backing and support for third-party apps it could really hit the mainstream. It’s well timed too, since more of us are now relying on video conferencing apps to work and even socialize.

Of course, for it to really take off enough apps will need to choose to support it, and really we also need to see Center Stage offered on more affordable hardware, as with a starting price of $799 / £749 / AU$1,199 the iPad Pro 2021 is anything but cheap.

Still, it’s a start, and for those who do shell out on Apple’s new slate, the ability to use one of its key features with the app of your choice is sure to be appreciated.

Via The Verge

James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to, and and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.