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What is Center Stage? Apple’s front camera tech explained

Apple recently unveiled the newest addition to its premium Air tablet line with the iPad Air 5. One of the most exciting features coming to the line this year is Center Stage. 

Center Stage is a camera feature we first heard about at the iPad Pro launch in spring 2021. While it began as a Pro-exclusive, the feature has since trickled down to Apple’s other iPad ranges, including the iPad, the iPad Mini and, more recently, the iPad Air. 

But, what exactly is Center Stage and what benefit does it bring to your video calls?

What is Center Stage? 

Center Stage – or Centre Stage, if you’re visiting Apple’s UK website – is a video calling feature found across Apple’s current iPad line-up along with the new Studio Display

The feature uses machine learning to automatically adjust the angle of the ultra-wide front-facing camera on your device to ensure you stay in frame during video calls. 

This essentially means that you can move around and bring more people into and out of frame without worrying about adjusting the angle manually to ensure none of your heads get chopped off in the call. 

The feature works with FaceTime, along with a number of third-party apps, such as Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams and Skype. 

You can see Center Stage in action about 50 seconds into the video below: 

Of course, this feature isn’t unique to Apple. Amazon launched a similar feature on the Echo Show 10 back in February 2021 that allows the display to do essentially the same thing, panning and zooming to keep you in frame without you having to adjust the screen yourself. 

Which iPads come with Center Stage? 

Every iPad released since Center Stage first became available in spring 2021 supports the handy video calling feature. Apple also added the tech to the Studio Display.

See below for a complete list of all the iPads that currently support Center Stage: 

  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (5th generation)
  • iPad Pro 11-inch (3rd generation)
  • iPad Air (5th generation)
  • iPad (9th generation)
  • iPad mini (6th generation)

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