FAQ | What the Heck Is Apple’s New ‘Center Stage’ Feature? Which Devices Have It and How Do I Use It?

iPad Center Stage Credit: Apple
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Apple has a fairly new feature that’s been added to a few of its latest devices. This feature is called Center Stage, and you’ve probably heard about it a few times before. Apple has made sure that we know which products already support Center Stange, but it seems like many more will get it in the future! Whether you like this feature or not, it seems like it’s here to stay, so it’s best to understand what Center Stage is and how you can use it to improve your video calls. Read on to find out everything you need to know about Apple’s Center Stage.

What Is Center Stage?

Center Stage is a fairly new feature available on some Apple devices—mostly iPads. This feature uses machine learning to let the front-facing Ultra Wide camera adjust itself to the subject in front of it. Basically, this means that the camera will automatically follow you and everyone you’re with, so you’re always in the frame when you’re on a FaceTime or video call.

Of course, that doesn’t mean you can walk around the house and your iPad will follow you – if you walk completely out of frame, the front-facing camera won’t be able to follow you. But it does work great if you’re constantly moving within the frame. And if someone walks in the frame, the camera will automatically put both of you inside the frame!

Which Devices Do You Need to Get Center Stage?

If you want to use Center Stage, you’ll need to have the right device for the job. As we mentioned before, mainly newer iPad devices support Center Stage, but thanks to the A13 Bionic chip on the new Studio Display, this monitor also supports Center Stage, making it the first of its kind! 

If you have any of the following devices, you’ll have Center Stage.

It’s also worth noting that your iPad will need to have at least iPadOS 15 or a later software update installed, but that won’t be a problem for all modern devices. 

Which Apps Support Center Stage?

Apple confirmed that you could use Center Stage on any app that uses video and supports Center Stage. This clearly means that FaceTime has Center Stage support from the get-go, but it also means that other third-party apps can use this feature as long as the developers allow it. 

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Not every video app supports Center Stage, but, as of right now, there are already a lot of popular video calling apps that support this feature. These are some of the most popular ones:

  • Skype
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Google Meet
  • Zoom
  • WebEx
  • Filmic Pro

Keep in mind that if you don’t see Center Stage available on these apps, you might need to update your app from the App Store. There will probably be more apps available in the future, but you’ll be able to check if Center Stage is supported in the app’s settings. 

How Do I Know If an App Supports Center Stage?

Fortunately, there is a quick and easy way to find out if your video app supports Center Stage, and it’ll only take a few taps. Just follow these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPad.
  2. Scroll down and find the app you want to check.
  3. If Center Stage is available, you’ll see it on the app’s settings. 

Since you’re there, you can also choose to turn Center Stage on or off, depending on your preferences. Keep in mind that the first time you open a new video app, you might get a popup message asking if you want to use Center Stage too. 

How to Use Center Stage on a Video Call 

If you’re in the middle of a video call, you can quickly enable or disable Center Stage as you please. If Center Stage was enabled before the call, it would work automatically, so you won’t have to do anything else other than start your video call. 

With that said, you can also disable it while in your call by following these steps:

  1. Hop on a video call
  2. During the video call, open the Control Center by swiping down from the top right corner of your screen.
  3. Tap on the Video Effects button.
  4. Tap on the Center Stage button. It’s the icon of a person inside a frame. If the icon is blue, that means Center Stage is enabled; you’ll know you disable Center Stage after the button turns gray. 

If you decide you want to keep using Center Stage, all you need to do is repeat the same steps. And if you’re on a FaceTime call, you can also control Center Stage by tapping the video thumbnail of yourself and then tapping on the same Center Stage button. 

Welcome to Center Stage

That’s pretty much it! If you have Center Stage available, there’s no reason why you wouldn’t want to use this feature since it can take your video calls to the next level. But now you know how to turn it off and even how to check if this feature is available for you. The next step is to start video-calling your friends and try it out for yourself. 

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