What Is Center Stage & What Apple Devices Have It?

By Michael Grothaus •  Updated: 03/08/22 •  4 min read

The feature is expanding to more products. Here’s what it is…


Wondering what is Center Stage? A lot of people are as of late, especially after Apple’s 2022 Spring event.

Center Stage was first introduced in April 2021 with the introduction of the 5th generation iPad Pro. However, since then the feature has expanded to more Apple devices. Here’s what you need to know about Apple’s Center Stage…

What Is Center Stage?

Center Stage is the name of a webcam feature on Apple devices. The feature uses machine learning and your Apple device’s front ultra wide camera to keep you in the shot even when you move around. As you move, the machine learning will direct the camera’s eye towards you, keeping you centered int he shot.

But Center Stage doesn’t stop there. The feature is so smart thanks to its machine learning underpinnings that it can sense when others are in the shot with you and if so, the camera will adjust to make sure they are fully in the shot too. Matter of fact, this works so well, Center Stage knows when someone entirely new enters the shot and will zoom and pan to include them to – all while keeping you in the shot.

Center Stage replies on both software and hardware. The software is the machine learning features built into iOS, iPadOS, and macOS. The hardware features require the device to have a front-facing ultra wide camera.

What Is Center Stage & What Apple Devices Have It?
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Credit: Apple

What Apple Devices Support Center Stage?

Center Stage started as a feature limited to the iPad Pro fifth generation, but it quickly expanded to other iPads. And as of March 2022, Center Stage now works on select Macs as well–provided you have the right display.

So, here are all the devices Apple’s Center Stage now works on:

As you can see, Center Stage works on all iPads Apple now sells. But what’s with that Studio Display?

The Studio Display is Apple’s new stand alone display Apple introduced in March 2022. The display has a built-in A13 processor and also it has a built-in 12MP ultra wide front camera. This is the first Apple display with a front facing camera built in.

The Studio Display will work with most Macs going back as far as 2016. That means if you have it plugged into a compatible Mac, you can use the Center Stage feature even though no Mac actually has Center Stage built into it.

What Is Center Stage & What Apple Devices Have It?
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Image: Apple

Will Center Stage Come To Macs?

As we noted above, Center Stage works with the Apple Studio Display when plugged into a compatible Mac. However, many are now wondering if the Mac will follow in the iPad’s footsteps and add support for Center Stage in the future.

The bad news is it’s very unlikely that existing Macs (as of March 2022) will gain built-in Center Stage support. That’s because those Macs would need a 12MP ultra wide camera.

However, it seems very likely that future Macs will all support Center Stage eventually. That includes the MacBook Pro, MacBook, and iMac lines (every Mac with a built-in camera). Why is this likely? Apple seems to be making a pretty big deal about Center Stage, so it just makes sense it comes to Macs sooner rather than later.

Does Center Stage Only Work In FaceTime?

The final thing most people wonder is if Center Stage only works in FaceTime. The good news is: no. Center Stage is a technology that third-party apps can adopt and use for themselves, too.

And check out Does The Apple Studio Display Come With A Stand? Also, check out Does The Apple Studio Display Come With A Polishing Cloth? And Does Apple Studio Display Work With PCs?

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Michael Grothaus

Apple expert and novelist, Michael Grothaus has been covering tech on KnowYourMobile for the best part of 10 years. Prior to this, he worked at Apple. And before that, he was a film journalist. Michael is a published author; his book Epiphany Jones was voted as one of the best novels about Hollywood by Entertainment Weekly. Michael is also a writer at other publications including VICE and Fast Company.
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