Apple Gave Zoom Access to Private iPad Camera API for Special Multitasking

BY Sanuj Bhatia

Published 9 May 2021

apple zoom private api camera

Zoom, the popular online meeting app, was given access to a private camera API that allowed Zoom to access the camera while multitasking on iPadOS.

Apple’s ‘favoritism’ of giving special developers access to private APIs has been under the light for quite a while now. Recently, an email disclosed that Apple gave Hulu access to a private App Store API. Now, app developer Jeremy Provost has explained how Apple gave Zoom access to a special camera API.

The private API used by Zoom allowed the meeting app to continue using the camera during the multitasking screen. Currently, if you use apps that access the camera, like WhatsApp and Google Meet, in Split Mode, the camera turns off as soon as you switch to the other app. Apple says this is due to the ‘privacy’ concerns.

“We asked Zoom and to our surprise they gave us the answer, and in the process revealed an apparently private process, available only to those deemed worthy by Apple.”

Even though the company has an ‘entitlement’ page, which allows developers to apply for special APIs like CarKit and HomeKit, there’s no mention of the API Zoom has been given access to. As Provost notes, Apple has not even acknowledged the existence of this API.

Epic Games vs Apple trial is underway now, and has unraveled a lot of malpractices taking place on the App Store. It was earlier revealed Apple struggled to convince Netflix to keep its in-app purchasing system in the app.

Even though Apple touts its App Store is ‘equal for all,’ developers have long been criticizing its App Store policies, asking the company to give away its monopoly over iOS app distribution or implement a better system.

[Via Think Tap Work]