Apple Gave Zoom Access to Special API to Use iPad Camera During Split View Multitasking
Added 05-09-21 05:12:02am EST - “Zoom, a hallmark platform used by millions during the global health crisis, has been given access to a special iPadOS API that allows the app to use...” - Macrumors.com
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Zoom, a hallmark platform used by millions during the global health crisis, has been given access to a special iPadOS API that allows the app to use the iPad camera while the app is in use in Split View multitasking mode.
This case of special treatment was first brought to attention by app developer Jeremy Provost, who, in a blog post, explains that Zoom uses a special API that allows the app to continue using and accessing the iPad camera while the app is being used in Split View mode.
Zoom can do this thanks to an "entitlement," which grants developers the ability to execute a particular capability with an API. As Provost notes, Apple publicly documents the ability for developers to apply for several different entitlements, such as ones related to CarPlay, HomeKit, and more. However, the special API that Zoom has been given is not offered to other developers by Apple, nor is its existence acknowledged by the company itself.
On the Zoom Developer Forum, a staff member for the video conferencing platform had confirmed earlier in February that Zoom has access to the "com.apple.developer.avfoundation.multitasking-camera-access," or iPad Camera Multitasking entitlement.
Zoom and Apple's own FaceTime are the only two apps on the App Store that can access the iPad camera during Split View multitasking. For obvious reasons, this ability is useful when users may want to reference and use a separate app during a video conferencing call. Without this special API, if a user puts a video conferencing app into Split view mode, the video call would go dark as the app cannot access the iPad camera when multitasking.
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