After years of waiting and complaints, it looks like the iPad could finally get what we’ve all been looking for: a front-facing camera in a useful place.
Currently, the iPad’s front camera is located on the shorter side of the device — or on top of the tablet in portrait mode. The problem is that you can use the iPad in portrait reading mode, but most use it in landscape mode for watching movies, work, and FaceTime.
But according to fertile curek @dylandkt, that could change soon. Dylan tweeted that the iPad Pro won’t just place the camera above the screen in landscape mode, but that Apple will set landscape mode as default. They also noted that the Apple logo on the back will also switch from portrait mode to landscape. It’s not clear if this will be ready in time for the next-generation iPad Pro, but it’s reportedly being done.
While it makes sense to keep the phone vertical while using FaceTiming, it’s less intuitive for the iPad. Most iPad cases or stands assume that you want to use the device in landscape mode, as well as a computer. This is especially true if you use accessories like Magic Keyboard, which basically turns the iPad into a laptop. This is probably at least half the reason why grandparents around the world never know where to look for FaceTiming. (Who among us hasn’t spent an hour looking at Grandma’s forehead, just her forehead?) It certainly doesn’t help that we’ve been trained for the last few decades by webcams that attach to the top horizontal side of our laptops and monitors. Newer iPads have Center Stage distinguish it automatically keeps you in the center of the frame while FaceTiming helps you, but it still does not solve the problem of knowing where to look.
Does this perhaps suggest that Apple’s landscape mode is the “correct” way to use the iPad? Maybe. That would certainly give credence to the idea that Apple really wants you to use its tablets as well laptop replacement– although there have been attempts to do so so far incredibly mixed. Apple has also slowly but surely started pressing the home button on its iPads, mrecently on 2021 iPad Mini. This is another sign that the line between iPad and MacBooks has become even more blurred.
Anyway, the iPad has great sales were seen during the pandemic — a time when media spending and Zoom calls were greatest. Maybe Apple’s design team is finally fed up with iPad’s vertical front camera. I know I did.
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