A awesome alteration introduced by iPadOS 17 that is going to make video creators and gamers happy is support for UVC (USB Video Class) devices, which intends an iPad tin now admit outer webcams, cameras, video acquisition cards, and different devices connected complete USB-C. I started testing iPadOS 17 reasoning this would beryllium a boring summation I’d ne'er use; arsenic it turns out, it’s wherever I had nan astir nosy tinkering pinch different pieces of hardware this summer.
Most of all, however, I did not expect I’d extremity up doing FaceTime calls pinch a Game Boy Camera arsenic my iPad Pro’s webcam.
I’m successful nan process of penning my annual iOS and iPadOS review, and successful nan communicative I’ll person plentifulness much specifications astir nan changes to iPadOS 17’s Stage Manager and really I’m taking advantage of UVC support to play Nintendo Switch and Steam Deck games connected my iPad’s display. But successful nan meantime, I wanted to stock this Game Boy Camera communicative because it’s wild, ridiculous, and I emotion it.
Before I get into immoderate of my weirdest experiments pinch UVC seizure connected iPad Pro, let’s commencement from nan basics. As personification who uses an iPad Pro astatine a table pinch an Apple Studio Display, I was very happy to spot that iPadOS 17 supports nan Studio Display’s built-in webcam, allowing maine to usage it for FaceTime calls and grainy selfies.
The measurement UVC seizure useful connected iPad Pro is simple: if a compatible camera is connected to nan iPad, apps for illustration FaceTime (and iPadOS 17 ones that person added support for nan caller API) will move to it arsenic nan default video source. There’s thing other to configure and nary menus to prime webcams from. This summation turned retired to beryllium perfectly timed pinch my determination to usage nan iPad Pro successful clone clamshell mode: I tin now support nan iPad pinch nan Magic Keyboard lid closed nether my table and still beryllium connected a FaceTime telephone acknowledgment to nan connected Studio Display.
My experiments turned weird – successful nan champion imaginable measurement – erstwhile I realized that UVC support meant Apple was opening up nan iPadOS level to crippled seizure cards, DSLR adapters, and different USB accessories that fto you link a USB video root to a computer. I want to item 2 things I did.
For starters, I wanted to spot if I could play games from my Nintendo Switch and Steam Deck connected my iPad Pro’s Retina Display by utilizing an outer crippled seizure card. The reply is yes. The seizure paper I bought is this 1 by NZXT, which offers an HDMI-in larboard and a USB-C larboard that you tin usage to link to an iPad Pro. To output video from a Nintendo Switch, I usage nan fantabulous Genki Covert Dock Mini; for nan Steam Deck, I usage Valve’s official dock.
The cardinal constituent is nan software: you request an app connected your iPad that tin publication video input from connected UVC devices. Thankfully, indie developer Jingcheng Tang built precisely that pinch Capture Pro: UVC Viewer, a elemental inferior (currently successful beta) that uses nan caller iPadOS 17 APIs to show and seizure outer video sources plugged into nan iPad Pro. Here’s what it looks like:
As I was finalizing my tests pinch nan NZXT seizure paper for nan review, I looked astatine my support of portable consoles and had an idea: what if I could usage a Game Boy Camera arsenic a webcam connected my iPad Pro and do a FaceTime telephone pinch it?
Let maine explain. During my tests pinch UVC devices, I noticed that, conscionable for illustration nan FaceTime app tin prime up nan Studio Display’s webcam erstwhile nan iPad Pro is connected to it, truthful it tin usage different UVC devices’ input arsenic its video source. To beryllium my point, I plugged a Steam Deck into nan seizure card, connected it to nan iPad Pro, opened FaceTime, and location it was: Elden Ring connected FaceTime.
So I started crafting an moreover bigger-brain theory. I person an Analogue Pocket, which is an outstanding modern return connected nan Game Boy that tin play original Game Boy cartridges. I besides person nan Analogue Pocket dock, which lets maine play Game Boy games connected a large surface by taking advantage of nan Pocket’s fantabulous upscaling mode for Game Boy graphics. And, of course, Nintendo made everyone’s favourite camera from nan precocious 90s, which you tin get beautiful inexpensive these days connected eBay. If I could usage nan Game Boy Camera connected a Pocket and nonstop nan video provender from nan console to nan iPad Pro, would I past beryllium capable to do a FaceTime telephone pinch personification while looking for illustration a characteristic consecutive retired of a Game Boy game?
The answer, my beloved readers, is simply a glorious, resounding Yes.
At first, I had problem pinch nan NZXT seizure paper not sending nan Pocket’s image to nan FaceTime app, truthful I tried pinch an Elgato Cam Link dongle, and that worked correct distant connected my iPad Pro. The Pocket outputs a 1080p video awesome complete HDMI, which nan FaceTime app seems to for illustration complete 720p video sources; moreover then, I was hardly recognizable pinch nan Game Boy Camera’s image quality, which was precisely nan point. I put my AirPods Pro to person astatine slightest bully audio and called my woman connected FaceTime.
It each worked retired of nan container and I, incredibly, was capable to do a FaceTime video telephone utilizing nan Game Boy Camera, a modern Game Boy, and immoderate HDMI adapters pinch my iPad Pro.
But there’s more: erstwhile I swiped down to unfastened Control Center, I noticed that moreover pinch nan seizure paper plugged and feeding video to FaceTime, video effects were enabled. As I suspected, Portrait, Center Stage, and Studio Light did thing pinch nan Game Boy Camera’s image. But get this: reactions worked.
This caller FaceTime characteristic plays 3D animations specified arsenic balloons aliases hearts erstwhile a personification performs a circumstantial manus motion connected a FaceTime call. Since reactions are based connected manus nickname alternatively than camera quality, erstwhile I positioned myself just right successful beforehand of nan camera and performed a triumph sign, FaceTime connected Silvia’s iPhone did, successful fact, show balloons.
That’s erstwhile I genuinely mislaid it. There I was, performing gestures successful beforehand of a Game Boy Camera successful 2023 to trial video seizure and FaceTime connected an iPad Pro. None of this makes sense, and nary regular personification will ever request to usage this. And yet, somehow, nan truth that everything worked arsenic it was expected to filled maine a unusual consciousness of bid and nerd satisfaction. If this ridiculous point tin work, possibly nan iPad is going to beryllium okay aft all.
You mightiness reason that I was truthful preoccupied pinch whether aliases not I could that I didn’t extremity to deliberation if I should. And I’m sorry, but I won’t judge that disapproval erstwhile it comes to this experiment. The iPad Pro lets maine usage a Game Boy Camera arsenic a webcam, and I deliberation that beautiful overmuch sells iPadOS 17 for a definite benignant of personification retired there.