Apple Gave Zoom Access to Special API to Use iPad Camera During Split View Multitasking

Zoom, a hallmark platform used by millions during the global health crisis, has been given access to a special iPadOS API that allows the app to use the iPad camera while the app is in use in Split View multitasking mode.

zoom app icon
This case of special treatment was first brought to attention by app developer Jeremy Provost, who, in a blog post, explains that Zoom uses a special API that allows the app to continue using and accessing the ‌iPad‌ camera while the app is being used in Split View mode.

Zoom can do this thanks to an "entitlement," which grants developers the ability to execute a particular capability with an API. As Provost notes, Apple publicly documents the ability for developers to apply for several different entitlements, such as ones related to CarPlay, HomeKit, and more. However, the special API that Zoom has been given is not offered to other developers by Apple, nor is its existence acknowledged by the company itself.

On the Zoom Developer Forum, a staff member for the video conferencing platform had confirmed earlier in February that Zoom has access to the "com.apple.developer.avfoundation.multitasking-camera-access," or ‌iPad‌ Camera Multitasking entitlement.

zoom dev forum ipad api
For obvious reasons, this ability is useful when users may want to reference and use a separate app during a video conferencing call. Without this special API, if a user puts a video conferencing app into Split view mode, the video call would go dark as the app cannot access the ‌iPad‌ camera when multitasking.

The new revelation comes at a troubling time for the Cupertino tech giant. The company is currently embroiled in a mammoth legal battle with game developer Epic Games, which accuses it of holding unfair, and anti-competitive control over the App Store and the distribution of apps on iOS devices.

The trial between the two titans began on May 3, and ever since, evidence, including email correspondence between Apple executives and employees, has revealed that Apple has previously granted certain developers, such as Hulu, access to APIs unavailable to other developers. Apple contuines to pledge that it treats all developers the same and offers everyone a "level playing field."

We've reached out to Apple for comment and will update this post if we hear back.

Tag: Zoom

Top Rated Comments

Westside guy Avatar
14 months ago

Every developer should be given equal access to APIs.
All developers ARE equal. It’s just that some developers are more equal than others.
Score: 101 Votes (Like | Disagree)
zakarhino Avatar
14 months ago
It sucks that Apple does this. Every developer should be given equal access to APIs. I remember the guys at Linus Media Group talking about how difficult it is to launch a social media platform as a small company/operation on iOS because of limitations that very obviously don't exist on the mega apps like YouTube, Netflix, etc.
Score: 82 Votes (Like | Disagree)
tadasZ Avatar
14 months ago

And what does it have to do with in-app purchases?
”You gave them a special API so we must have our exception with the payment and taxes”
Epic is acting like a 4yo child
come on dude.. the point is that apple lies saying they treat every app developer equal, it's just not true - one can use special api other get banned for the same thing (eg. parental control apps). I hope apple loses agains epic, it will be good for everyone.
Score: 58 Votes (Like | Disagree)
displayblock Avatar
14 months ago

And what does it have to do with in-app purchases?
”You gave them a special API so we must have our exception with the payment and taxes”
Epic is acting like a 4yo child
They are pointing out that Apple allows some apps certain privileges that others do not have access to, and that Apple will bend their own rules based on arbitrary decisions.
Score: 56 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Lihp8270 Avatar
14 months ago

It sucks that Apple does this. Every developer should be given equal access to APIs. I remember the guys at Linus Media Group talking about how difficult it is to launch a social media platform as a small company/operation on iOS because of limitations that very obviously don't exist on the mega apps like YouTube, Netflix, etc.
Are you a developer?

The company I work for uses a certain software package. As a trusted partner, We have access to APIs which are undocumented and not available to all. This is because our use case demands it.

Without the API access, and comms directly with their development teams it wouldn’t be possible for us to use their software solution.

As a personal side gig I have a watch app. There’s no way I’d expect to get the same level of access as a major company, particularly with regards to accessing APIs which I don’t need.

An important rule of any secure system is that people have access to only what they need and nothing more.
Score: 49 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TehFalcon Avatar
14 months ago
I can understand this during these times, however it's odd that other big platforms (like Teams) didn't also get access.
Score: 46 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

fortnite apple logo geforce feature

Fortnite Coming Back to iOS Soon Thanks to Nvidia's GeForce NOW Service

Thursday January 13, 2022 11:19 am PST by
With the Apple vs. Epic Games lawsuit continuing on, there are no signs that Apple has any intention of allowing popular battle royale game Fortnite to return to the App Store on iPhone and iPad. Epic Games has found a workaround though, by partnering up with Nvidia. GeForce NOW, Nvidia's streaming gaming service, will soon add Fortnite support, allowing Fortnite to be played through a...
zoom ipad gesture recognition

Zoom Updated With 'Raise Hand' and 'Thumbs Up' Gesture Recognition on iPad

Wednesday August 25, 2021 7:00 am PDT by
Zoom today announced the latest version of its popular video conferencing app, and one of the key new features is gesture recognition on the iPad, enabling users to use visual gestures to automatically use a corresponding meeting reaction. The feature currently supports the "Raise Hand" and "Thumbs Up" reactions. If you raise your hand or give a thumbs up in real life, a hand or thumbs up...
wordle

Clones of Popular 'Wordle' Game Flooding App Store, Including One Charging $30 Per Year [Updated]

Tuesday January 11, 2022 1:39 pm PST by
If you're a regular internet user you've probably heard of popular web-based daily guessing game Wordle, created by Josh Wardle. The game, which is entirely free to play, was introduced last fall and has been spreading like wildfire. Wordle asks players to guess a five letter word by identifying which letters are in the word and are located in the right location. Players get six guesses per...
zoom app icon

Zoom to Pay $85 Million to Users for Misleading Encryption Claims

Wednesday August 4, 2021 1:00 am PDT by
As part of a class action lawsuit settlement, Zoom says it will pay $85 million to users for misleading them about offering end-to-end encryption on its videoconferencing service. According to ArsTechnica, the company was accused of lying about its encryption description on its website and in a security white paper, as well as providing user data to Facebook and Google without users'...
5

Camera Comparison: Samsung's Galaxy S22 Ultra vs. Apple's iPhone 13 Pro Max

Thursday March 3, 2022 11:47 am PST by
Samsung in February introduced its latest high-end flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S22 Ultra. We picked up one of the new Samsung devices, and thought we'd compare it to Apple's top-of-the-line smartphone, the iPhone 13 Pro Max, to see how the two premium phones compare to one another when it comes to camera quality. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The Galaxy S22...
zoom focus mode

Zoom Gains Focus Mode to Help Reduce Distractions in Virtual Classrooms

Thursday August 12, 2021 2:07 am PDT by
Zoom has introduced a new feature called Focus Mode that's designed to prevent students from distracting each other during virtual classrooms. When enabled, Focus Mode allows the teacher or lecturer taking the class to see all the students, while each student can only see the teacher. The setting can be activated at any time by the teleconferencing host, so for example it could be...
maxresdefault

Hands On: Testing Fortnite on iOS Using GeForce NOW

Thursday February 17, 2022 11:54 am PST by
Fortnite has been unavailable to play on the iPhone and iPad since Apple banned it from the App Store in August 2020 amid an ongoing legal battle with Epic Games, but the battle royale game is coming back to iOS devices thanks to Nvidia's GeForce NOW gaming service. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. GeForce NOW is a browser-based gaming service that will allow iPhone ...
safari icon blue banner

iOS 15.4 Beta Suggests Apple to Support Push Notifications From Web-Based Apps

Tuesday February 1, 2022 2:56 am PST by
Apple is working on bringing web-based notifications to iOS, addressing a long-time concern of developers of web-based apps who have been unable to send notifications to users on Apple mobile devices, severely limiting the user experience and effectiveness of apps made on the web. With the first betas of iOS and iPadOS 15.4 released last week, Apple added a "Push API" toggle in the...

Popular Stories

apple ar headset concept 1

Apple's Headset Said to Feature 14 Cameras Enabling Lifelike Avatars, Jony Ive Has Remained Involved With Design

Friday May 20, 2022 6:50 am PDT by
Earlier this week, The Information's Wayne Ma outlined struggles that Apple has faced during the development of its long-rumored AR/VR headset. Now, in a follow-up report, he has shared several additional details about the wearable device. Apple headset render created by Ian Zelbo based on The Information reporting For starters, one of the headset's marquee features is said to be lifelike...
anker 563 dock ports

Anker's Latest USB-C Docking Station Brings Triple-Display Support to M1 Macs

Wednesday May 18, 2022 7:06 am PDT by
While Apple's early M1-based Macs can only officially support a single external display, there are ways around the limitation. Anker is launching a new 10-in-1 USB-C docking station today which delivers just that. The Anker 563 USB-C dock includes two HDMI ports and a DisplayPort port, and it leverages DisplayLink to carry multiple video signals over a single connection. Given that this hub...
apple data auction iphone privacy ad

Apple Highlights iPhone's Latest Privacy Features in New 'Data Auction' Ad

Wednesday May 18, 2022 9:00 am PDT by
Apple today shared a new ad highlighting iPhone privacy features like App Tracking Transparency and Mail Privacy Protection that are designed to give users more transparency and control when it comes to their personal data being collected. The ad revolves around a young woman named Ellie who discovers that her personal data is being sold at an auction house, with bids being placed on her...
Prosser Series 8 3

Apple Watch Series 8 Rumored to Feature New Design With Flat Display

Wednesday May 18, 2022 6:21 am PDT by
The Apple Watch Series 8 could feature an all-new design with a flat display, according to the leaker known as "ShrimpApplePro." In his latest video on the YouTube channel Front Page Tech, Jon Prosser highlighted information from ShrimpApplePro that suggests the Apple Watch Series 8 could feature a flat display in what seems to be a design originally rumored for the Apple Watch Series 7. ...
sony headphones 1

Sony's New WH-1000XM5 Headphones vs. Apple's AirPods Max

Friday May 20, 2022 12:18 pm PDT by
Sony this week came out with an updated version of its popular over-ear noise canceling headphones, so we picked up a pair to compare them to the AirPods Max to see which headphones are better and whether it's worth buying the $400 WH-1000XM5 from Sony over Apple's $549 AirPods Max. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. First of all, the AirPods Max win out when it comes ...
iPhone 14 Purple Lineup Feature

Will the iPhone 14 Be a Disappointment?

Saturday May 21, 2022 9:00 am PDT by
With around four months to go before Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 14 lineup, the overwhelming majority of rumors related to the new devices so far have focused on the iPhone 14 Pro, rather than the standard iPhone 14 – leading to questions about how different the iPhone 14 will actually be from its predecessor, the iPhone 13. The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max are expected...
apple ar headset concept 2

Apple's AR/VR Headset Nearing Completion as Board Gets Demo

Thursday May 19, 2022 9:52 am PDT by
Apple last week demonstrated its upcoming AR/VR headset to Apple board members, indicating that the device is in an advanced stage of development and could see a debut in the not too distant future, reports Bloomberg. Apple has also ramped up development of the software that runs on the headset, with that software expected to be called "RealityOS," or rOS for short. Render via designer Ian ...