Putting the iPad Pro’s front camera along the landscape edge instead of the top fixes weird angles when videoconferencing in horizontal orientation.

Videoconferencing on iPad Pro in horizontal orientation
She’s looking sideways when starring toward iPad Pro’s camera | Image: Apple

“Face ID needs to be in landscape to learn how to recognize you,” reads a string Filipe Espósito at 9to5Mac discovered in the iOS 17.4 code.

“During Face ID setup, iPad needs to be in landscape with the camera at the top of the screen. Once setup is complete, Face ID works in portrait and landscape.”

All iPads need landscape cameras for proper video chatting

Currently, iPad Pro is the only iPad with Face ID. That doesn’t necessarily mean that landscape cameras won’t be coming to other iPads with regular front cameras and Touch ID instead of Face ID, such as the iPad mini and iPad Air models.

According to a recent report from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, Apple will unveil the next iPad Pro and iPad Air models this spring, so we’ll soon know more details.

The iPad’s front camera has been at the top of the screen since the beginning. As videoconferencing took off, this created a problem of weird angles in video chats.

Videoconferencing apps want to be used horizontally

Video-conferencing apps like FaceTime prefer to be operated with the device turned upside down. But this results in a sub-optimal experience because it’s difficult to maintain eye contact with the camera on the device’s side instead of the top.

Worse, you risk making an impression that you’re not paying attention to the other party. You may even offend your chat buddy by appearing to look sideways.

Apple already offers an iPad with a landscape camera

But Apple is clearly aware of this problem and has already taken the first step toward fixing it. You’ll recall that the tenth-generation iPad is the first Apple tablet with a FaceTime camera on its side instead of the top. As a result, the video-chatting experience on that device looks perfectly natural in horizontal orientation.

The next iPad Pro should bring other changes, too, including OLED display technology, MagSafe charging and an overhauled Magic Keyboard with a larger trackpad and an aluminum top.

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