Apple: IPad users using the split-view multitasking feature know that it is not possible to leave the camera on in a video call while using the tool. But, it seems, Zoom users can. That’s because Apple would have provided a unique API for the app to improve its service. The information was revealed by developer Jeremy Provost, who develops applications for Apple platforms, on the Think Tap Work blog.
The preferential treatment allowed Zoom to have access to an iPadOS API that enabled the split-view split-screen mode. In addition to video calling software, Uber also benefited from Apple’s tools. According to Provost, the mobility company got an API to accelerate the development of Apple Watch support in 2015.
Developer Steve Troughton-Smith explained on his Twitter: “Zoom has an undocumented private right to allow him to record his split-screen camera on the iPad, a feature that other applications, such as Cisco WebEx, which Apple uses itself, do not has”.
Privilege or resource?
In response to the developer, Zoom explained that the benefit is offered by Apple through so-called entitlements (“rights”). With it, developers get access to private functions of Apple devices. On the official website, Apple explains:
“An entitlement (entitlement) is a privilege that grants specific resources to perform particular capabilities. For example, an application needs the right to HomeKit – along with the user’s explicit consent – to access the automated network from a user’s home.”
The use of private APIs is allowed and the company makes the rules transparent on its website. However, the tools used by Zoom and Uber are not part of the entitlement program or, at least, are not mentioned in any Apple document. Thus, large companies would be gaining privileges from the manufacturer and more advantage over smaller developers.
Apple has yet to comment on the matter.