It Looks Like iPadOS 17 Will Support External Webcams and Cameras

ipad os 17

In addition to the numerous hardware announcements Apple presented at WWDC23 earlier this week, the company also revealed a litany of software updates including iPadOS 17, and the developer beta appears to allow users to plug in their own webcams.

Apple’s WWDC23 announcements were dominated by major hardware releases, including a new Mac Studio and Mac Pro powered by the M2 Ultra chip, a new 15-inch MacBook Air, and the announcement of Apple’s first major new product in almost a decade, the Vision Pro mixed reality headset.

But it wasn’t all major hardware releases, and there appear to be some hidden advancements in Apple’s iPadOS updates that will allow more options for content creators on the go.

As reported by The Verge, it looks like Apple is going to allow developers to build in support for external cameras and webcams with the iPad. It also seems to include support for devices like Elgato’s Cam Link capture card or even full-size cameras that some many are using as webcams to get far superior image quality than what is available built-in to displays and laptops.

The feature has been demonstrated by Stephen Robles on Twitter:

That aforementioned support for a capture card was confirmed by another Twitter user, Brian Voll.

Theoretically, once app developers take advantage of the new capability in Apple’s API, any app can be updated to support the feature.

The iPad has skirted the line between tablet and computer for some time now, and lackluster or missing features like a true file management system or full support for attached storage devices inside of video apps like Apple’s own Final Cut for iPad leave some room for improvement. Users can probably check one missing feature off the list now, though, since it appears as though external camera support is finally arriving.

When implemented in the full release of iPadOS 17 later this year, the iPad will be one big step closer to being a far more capable content creation and mobile streaming device.

Image credits: Apple