Zoom has special access to the iPad camera, allowing users to multitask during a call

The zoom feature allows users to multitask on the Apple iPad, which cannot be completed with other video calling apps on the platform. It turns out that the reason Zoom supports Split View multitasking is because Zoom has gained access to the special iPadOS API.

A report from 9to5Mac noted that app developer Jeremy Provost learned that Apple has special permissions for Zoom to use the iPad camera during Split View multitasking. Compared to other applications, Zoom uses a special application programming interface (API) that allows the application to continue to use and access the ‌iPad‌ camera when used in split view mode. 

Zoom can do this with the help of “rights”, which allow companies to use a multi-tasking compatible programming interface that is generally prohibited outside of FaceTime. This right allows developers to use the API to perform specific functions. This will allow users to open and use other applications during the video conference. If there is no function attached to the special API, if the user puts the video conferencing application in “split view” mode, the video call will be grayed out because the application cannot access the camera of the “iPad” while multitasking. 

Jeremy Provost’s post stated that the special API provided by Zoom has not been documented, and the only APIs that Apple deems “valuable” can be used. Apple did not comment on this issue, although it did raise questions as to why only Zoom was granted access to this particular API. 

The Zoom app has become the main asset of pandemic life and is one of the most popular apps in 2020. It has also become the default app for many users to make video calls, which may explain why Apple has granted rights access so special. There are other video conferencing apps, like Google Meet, and Microsoft Teams don’t seem to have the same support on the iPad.

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