Zoom Becomes the Only App to Have Access to Private iPad Camera API for Multitasking

Furqan Shahid
Zoom Becomes the Only App to Have Access to Private iPad Camera API for Multitasking

App developer Jeremy Provost has discovered that Apple has given Zoom access to a private iPad camera API. This makes Zoom the only third-party app to have access to this API, the other one being Apple's own FaceTime. This API allows the user to use the camera during iPad's Split View multitasking.

As you may have guessed, with access to this feature, Zoom users have the advantage to use the Split View multitasking various apps like Twitter or other apps to do whatever they want to.

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Provost has explained it in his blog post about this discovery.

We asked Zoom and to our surprise, they gave us the answer, and in the process revealed an apparently private process, available only to those deemed worthy by Apple.

To receive access to the API, Apple has to give an "entitlement," which is a right or privilege that gives an app certain features or capabilities. This is how Apple puts it,

For example, an app needs the HomeKit Entitlement — along with explicit user consent — to access a user’s home automation network. An app stores its entitlements as key-value pairs embedded in the code signature of its binary executable.

While Apple does provide public documentation along with a process for requesting access to entitlements. Provost has discovered that there is no public process for requesting this API.

 As we’ve been informed, it is called com.apple.developer.avfoundation.multitasking-camera-access. Unfortunately, unlike with CarPlay there is no public process for requesting this entitlement. In fact, its existence is not even documented by Apple publicly. Go ahead and Google it, you’ll only turn up the Zoom Developer Forum.

We are still not sure why Apple has allowed only Zoom this API, considering how we have other services that work just like Zoom does. You have WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, as well as Microsoft Teams, but all of these apps lack this feature. Apple has talked about how they treat all developers the same way. This is a surprising discovery.

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