– Zoom On iPad Beats Google Meet & Teams With 1 Brilliant Feature
Zoom has access to a private iPad camera API, a new report claims, which allows the app to use the camera during iPad Split View multitasking.
Intriguingly, it seems to mean that only Zoom has access to this feature. Not Google Meet, not Microsoft Teams. In fact, the only other app that can access it is one of Apple’s: FaceTime. Until things change, it’s means only Zoom can offer this feature on iPad.
The report, in the form of a blog post from app developer Jeremy Provost and picked up by picked up by 9to5Mac, says that Provost had been, “surprised to see that Zoom had somehow been able to tap into using the camera during iPad Split View multitasking. This is an obvious feature for a videoconferencing app so that you can keep one eye on your meeting while you consult notes, look at a presentation, or slack off on Twitter.”
Once you think of it that way, it’s an obvious advantage: the simplicity and effectiveness of being on a Zoom call for part of your iPad screen, but still having access to a whole other app thanks to Split View. Much more efficient, I’d say. Although, I suppose you could as easily set the other app to one that ensures you have the latest score for your favorite football, baseball or soccer team, which is rather less efficient.
So, you might have thought that Microsoft Teams and Google Meet would have the same capabilities.
Provost says that he asked Zoom how he could enable this for Participant Zoom, which is a Zoom client for iOS. The surprising reply was that this was a private process, not for everyone.
It turns out, according to Provost, that it’s down to the right entitlements. To access features, developers make use of public entitlements. These include iCloud access or push notifications.
But there are also private entitlements, which are restricted.
An obvious example is integration with CarPlay, where access is only available to certain kinds of apps. For instance, you need to have an app that falls into certain categories, such as audio, automaker, EV charging, parking, quick food ordering and a few others.
If Apple grants an app developer access to CarPlay, a process which is publicly known, then the entitlement appears in the developer account.
However, the entitlement for multitasking camera access does not have a public process. Provost says, “In fact, its existence is not even documented by Apple publicly. Go ahead and Google it, you’ll only turn up the Zoom Developer Forum.”
If this sounds like Meet and Teams are at a disadvantage, things are about to change.
In a matter of days, the next iPad Pro will be on sale, and its M1 processor and ultra-wide front-facing camera will enable a feature called Center Stage, which uses machine learning to keep you at the center of the picture even as you move around.
This feature will be available to all video meeting app developers to take advantage of.
Mind you, it still won’t help if you secretly want to keep an eye on the latest match score.