Last Updated on July 9, 2023 by Ernests Embutnieks
At WWDC23, Apple just released a software update for iPadOS, which introduces several new features to the iPad. One of my favorite inclusions was the ability to connect an external webcam to the iPad.
Yes! You can now connect an external webcam with a regular USB-C cable to do things like FaceTime, Zoom Call, or Microsoft Teams. It’s great news for iPad users, as they’ve been waiting for it for a very, very long time.
I know you’re curious about the procedure. So, let’s get into it.
Related: List of iPads That Have USB-C Port
How to Setup an External Webcam on the iPad?
Before you connect your external webcam to your iPad, it’s necessary to install iPadOS 17. Whereas to get iPadOS 17, you need to enroll yourself in the Apple Developer Program. Here’s a complete discussion on that.
Apple Developer Program Enrollment
Without enrolling in the Apple developer program, you won’t be able to install the update. To be eligible for this update, sign up for the free Apple Developer App. Here’s how;
- Download and open Apple Developer App
- Go to the Accounts tab.
- Sign in with your Apple ID and Agree to the Apple Developer Agreement
- To join the program, click “Enroll Now”
- Then, enter your personal information. (Incorrect personal details will delay your enrollment.)
- Verify your identity (with a photo of your driver’s license or government ID)
- Select Confirm
- Review the information you provided, then click continue
- Select Individual as your entity
- Agree to the Apple Developer Program License Agreement
- Click on Purchase to get your one-year developer subscription.
Once you’re done with this, you’re good to go toward our next step.
Setting Up iPadOS 17 On iPad
- Open your iPad and Go to Settings
- Go to General
- Tap on Software Updates
- Then select Beta Software
- Choose iPadOS 17 Developer Beta
- Download and Install the iPadOS 17 Software
Now once you get the notification that says “Your iPad has been updated to iPadOS 17.” You’re ready to connect your external webcam. Keep in mind that, it’s for iPadOS, not iOS.
To connect a webcam to your iPad, plug the USB-C cable into your iPad, and you’re ready to use it. After that, opening the FaceTime app will allow you to see yourself through the connected webcam. Check out this YouTube Short that uses the same method for FaceTime.
What Webcams Are Compatible With the iPad?
Using a USB-C interface, you can connect various webcam models to an iPad. But still, there are some webcams that might not work. That’s why I made a small list of compatible webcams for the iPad.
Also, I’ve mentioned some good options for you from which you can buy a webcam for yourself. So, here we go.
- Normal USB-C WebCam
Yes, standard HD or 4K Webcams are now officially iPad-compatible. A lot of options are available on the market for webcams. Among many, the best is available from HP, Lenovo, Logitech, and some others.
For normal webcams, I have some personal recommendations for you that might work awesome for you.
- Almost Any Camera With HDMI Out and an HDMI-To-Webcam Adapter
This process is a little different. To connect a camera that doesn’t have a USB-C interface, you can use a USB to webcam-adapter. This adapter allows you to connect cameras with HDMI output but doesn’t support webcam functionality.
- External Monitor With a Camera
You can use any external monitor with a built-in camera. There are a lot of options for an external monitor with a camera, like an Apple Studio Display or Samsung M8 monitor.
- Mirrorless Camera With Webcam Mode
Mirrorless cameras and DSLRs often have a webcam mode that allows them to function as external cameras. By enabling this mode, you can use a DSLR as your iPad webcam.
What Are the Best WebCams for iPad?
There are many great options on the market, but here are some of my best webcams for an iPad. Have a look:
The Insta360 Link – PTZ 4K webcam is truly a quality webcam with some pretty slick features. It’s smart, it’s fast, it captures up to 4K, and most importantly, it’s small, which means it doesn’t take up much space. Also, the AI tracking and its noise-canceling make it one of my favorites.
I’ve tried it on my own, and it’s running like a top with my iPad Pro. Besides, it’s the main camera for Zoom Calls or Google Meets.
- UHD Resolution
- AI Tracking
- Noise-Canceling Microphones
- Three Specialized Modes for capturing videos
- Works with iPad
- A bit expensive
- No HDR in 4K
The Dell UltraSharp HDR 4K Webcam is a premium quality webcam from Dell. It offers everything you need in a webcam at an appealing cost.
The Dell UltraSharp HDR 4K Webcam features a 4K Sony STARVIS CMOS sensor that captures video up to 4K resolution at 30 frames per second with HDR. Additionally, it includes a shutter for enhanced privacy and an AI Auto Framing feature.
- Offers UHD resolution
- Privacy Shutter
- Futuristic design
- Enhances the image’s brightness and contrast
- AI Auto Framing Features.
- No back-ground noise cancelation
- No AI tracking
The AVerMedia PW513 Webcam is another great choice on my list. I picked it because it can deliver professional-grade 4K30 video with clear images.
Its ultra-wide angle and sliding shutter provide convenient sharing and privacy protection. It is compatible with various applications, making it easy to connect and collaborate. It’s a reliable choice for streaming and remote work.
- Offers 4K video quality with clear images
- The ultra-wide angles allow for easier sharing
- A sliding shutter design ensures privacy protection
- Easy setup with USB plug-and-play technology
- The field of view angle may be restrictive in certain cases.
- No AI tracking
- No background noise cancellation
The Logitech BRIO 301 is an affordable option for those seeking high-quality features at a reasonable cost. Unlike our previous webcam, this option doesn’t include features like AI tracking or 4K recording.
However, it does have HD resolution, a noise-canceling microphone, and a privacy shutter. So, if you are looking for a low-cost webcam for your iPad, I am sure you will like it.
- Great Price Range
- Noise Reduction Microphones
- Privacy Shutter
- Clear HD resolution
- Certified for Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom calls
- Auto Light Correction
- There is no 60 fps recording option
- Doesn’t include any AI trackers
The Logitech StreamCam Plus Webcam is a great pick under $150, the image clarity is amazing, and the responsiveness is also over the top.
It provides a very good and accurate focus. I believe it’s a decent pick, for an FHD webcam under $150.
- FHD resolution
- Attaches quickly and easily to any surface
- USB-C port
- The mic quality is average
- No background noise cancellation
Which Camera Isn’t Going to Work as a Webcam?
Now that you’ve seen which devices are going to work for us in here, it’s time to look at which aren’t going to work.
Well, in this case, only those cameras and webcams aren’t going to work for you, which requires you to install third-party applications or specific camera drivers to get them working. Take, for example, the HP HD-3100 Webcam; you can use it as long as you install all of the necessary drivers.
You cannot use such webcams because Apple will not let you install the necessary software on your iPad. You get my point. Right?
What Are Some Other Options For Connecting Webcams?
Before WWDC23, iPad users always wished for a feature to directly connect to an external webcam. However, Apple did not allow this functionality, leading users to seek alternative methods such as using webcam apps.
Those apps were good but not as convenient compared to direct webcam usage. Still, I’m going to discuss a few of them.
- Axis Companion
- iPad Center Stage camera
I would have discussed how they work and how to set them up, but I’m not going there. As you know, they are no longer useful.
After WWDC23, the introduction of external webcam support in iPadOS 17 is a game-changer for iPad users. With the ability to connect webcams directly to their devices, users now have a seamless and convenient solution for video calls, content creation, and more.
This new feature eliminates the need for third-party apps and enhances the functionality and versatility of iPads.
Of course, I believe iPad have already a decent camera built-in for video calls, but now all the users have a chance to improve the quality even more.
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