After WWDC (Apple Worldwide Developers Conference) 2022, there’s been a lot of interest in using an iPhone as a webcam, but did you know that you can already enjoy an iPad webcam experience right now? There are ways that you can connect a webcam to your iPad, but they aren’t as straightforward as you’d imagine. But that’s what we’re here for — we will show you how to get a webcam connected to your iPad! Keep reading to find out how it’s done.
iPad Webcam: Is it Possible?
It seems like Apple does not want people connecting external cameras to the iPad because there’s no mention of it from their side. Although the iPad does include two high-definition cameras which can be used as webcams, the iPad lacks the ports and software that would make it convenient for us to link an iPad and a web camera.
So, let’s look at the various reasons why it’s not possible to connect a webcam to an iPad directly.
iPad Webcam: Challenges
Apple can be pretty rigid with its software and hardware compatibility policies, which is why you can’t buy a webcam online and connect it to your iPad. On the other hand, if you were using a PC, it would be as simple as just connecting it to a USB port, installing a couple of basic drivers, and you’d be up and running.
To be fair, the iPad already has cameras on the front and back, and Apple expects you to use these and not connect to an external camera.
Lack of USB port
iPad ports do not support connecting a webcam directly. In fact, there is no connector available for the iPad that would make it convenient for you to connect a webcam and use it as you would on a PC. Most webcams come with USB Type-A connectors that plug into your computer, and since the iPad does not have a USB port, this is impossible.
Also Read: Best Tablets With a USB Port
Software driver issues
When you buy a new webcam and plug it into your PC or Mac, you can then either install drivers automatically or via a disc. There is no such feature in iPads — you cannot install drivers of your choice. A big reason for this is security since Apple is very particular about allowing system permissions to software downloaded off the internet.
No Adobe Flash support
Adobe Flash Player has multiple security loopholes, so Apple never added it as a part of iPadOS. Flash was a useful web plugin in the early days of the internet, but it never kept up with emerging technologies and thus was abandoned by developers, and eventually, Adobe as well.
Flash was mandatory for webcams to work and since Flash is completely missing from the iPad (Apple decided Flash was an issue as far back as 2007), it makes native support impossible.
iPad Webcam: Possible Solutions
So now that you know that Apple does not want you connecting external webcams to the iPad, is there a workaround? Of course, there is! After all, there are many situations where you would want a standalone camera — you might want to record at an unusual angle, or you might want to place the camera in cramped areas where the iPad may not fit. You may want better camera resolution on your webcam, too.
While we’ve listed a few workarounds below, some of these methods may not work on your iPad. But be sure to give all of them a try!
iPad Center Stage camera
With the iPad’s ‘Center Stage’ feature, you may not need an external webcam at all. This software feature takes advantage of your iPad’s Ultra-Wide camera (if it is equipped with one) and helps keep you in the frame. You can also use it to highlight certain areas, like your desk, if you’re demonstrating something on a FaceTime call.
The Center Stage feature is available on these iPads:
- iPad Air (5th generation)
- iPad Pro 12.9-inch (5th generation)
- iPad Pro 11-inch (3rd generation)
- iPad (9th generation)
- iPad mini (6th generation)
ACam Live Video, or AirCam, as it was formerly known, is an app that you can install on your iPad that lets you stream a video feed directly from your computer’s webcam (it runs on both Mac and Windows computers). The app promotes itself as a security solution, and you can use it as a baby cam or to keep an eye on your home. It also supports motion detection with email alerts and recording activation.
ACam Live Video is compatible with various kinds of USB webcams and also supports multiple webcam connections. To operate the webcam, you will need to download software to your computer and then you can access it via the iPad app. You can fully control webcam actions from your iPad and it even provides Apple Watch support. The app works best over WiFi but can also be accessed via mobile data.
It’s priced at $7.99 and you can read more about the app on the official website.
The iCam app is probably the most popular among the group when it comes to rigging up an external webcam and accessing it on your iPad. Like AirCam, iCam supports multiple live video webcam feeds to your iPad over both WiFi and mobile data connections. It can be used as a pet monitor, baby cam, or even a security camera for your premises.
The app offers event-based alerts like email and auto-recording based on motion detection and also has a cloud service that saves all recorded data so that even if the PC data is deleted, you will have a copy on the cloud. Priced at $4.99, the software runs on both PC and Mac, and you can even connect IP or Internet protocol cameras that connect to your WiFi network.
You can read more about this app on the iCam website.
If you wish to use your iPad as a web camera instead of connecting a camera to the iPad, then this is the app you’re looking for. Created by Mobiola, WebCamera lets you stream from your iPad camera to your PC or Mac and supports all popular apps like FaceTime, Skype, Zoom, Google Hangouts, Viber, and more. While the app costs $4.99, the software that you need to download to your computer is free. You can learn more about this app on the WebCamera official site.
If surveillance or security is why you wish to connect a camera to your iPad, then look no further than the Axis Companion app. Designed to work with Axis’ own range of cameras, this iPad app works in sync with cameras that are connected to your PC or Mac and offers you a real-time feed. The app and camera systems are highly secure and have all the features you would expect from a good camera security network. Though the company targets businesses more than individuals, it is still something you can look into if you care about security for your home. Here’s a link to the official Axis website.
As you can see, it is a bit tricky to get an iPad webcam connected and working, but it is possible thanks to apps like iCam and ACam Live. And there is no way to directly connect a webcam to your iPad — at the very least, you will need a PC or Mac to set up a network camera so that you can access it on your iPad after. If you have more questions about this topic, write to us in the comments section below!