One of the most common questions asked about iPads is the following: Can you connect a webcam to an iPad? And the answer isn’t as straightforward as we would like it to be. And luckily the iPad Pro addresses the iPad’s previous incompatibilities with webcams with a handy accessory.
The iPad does not natively support webcams. It does not support them through a USB connection. Nor does it support them through the Camera Connection Kit or through a wireless connection. But there are ways to view a webcam’s video feed through your iPad.
We’ll talk about all that and more below.
No Native Webcam Support
Connecting a webcam to an iPad can be done, but it’s not natively supported. This is in line with Apple’s habit of being very protective about proprietary software and hardware compatibility.
The first thing one should mention is that the iPad already does contain two high-def cameras. Both can be used as a webcam. The camera’s on the iPad are excellent and suitable for most of your webcamming needs.
Another option, which most people prefer, is to connect a webcam to your computer and stream it via Wi-Fi and an app on your iPad.
We’ll have more to say about streaming your webcam via Wi-Fi to your iPad below.
Why You Can’t Connect Your Webcam And iPad
Unfortunately, when it comes to the components that make stand-alone webcams operate, Apple is not in the position to take advantage of them.
There are three main reasons why Apple does not let you connect a webcam to your iPad:
- There is no USB port for connecting the webcam.
- Webcams do not have the correct software and drivers to work with an iPad.
- The iPad does not support Flash. Almost every webcam transmits images via Flash.
Let’s take a more in-depth look at each of those.
No USB Port
Apple’s iPads do not come with USB support. You can buy USB ports for your iPad, but even that won’t work for a webcam. That’s because your device would need to support the correct drivers and Flash, which the iPad does not.
The iPad also does not support the correct drivers for webcams, meaning you can’t install the webcam software on the tablet.
No Flash Support
Apple famously ditched flash support on its products back in 2020, and since many webcams rely on Flash to broadcast their video and image feeds meaning it’s not possible to get native iPad/webcam support.
iPads iSight Camera
Apple’s FaceTime is one of the most well-known video chat apps out there, and it comes built-in free with your iPad and iCloud account.
It is limited to only connecting with other Apple users, however, which is a limitation indeed.
There are, of course, plenty of well-known apps available across devices such as WhatsApp, Skype, and Vtok. And these apps also let you use both front and back cameras.
There are a few reasons why you might want to use a separate webcam instead of the iPads, excellent though they may be.
Firstly, when using the iPad in landscape mode, many users find the camera angle strange. Secondly, many video artists, like stop motion animators, want the freedom offered by a stand-alone webcam.
Use Webcam Apps To Connect To Your iPad
In addition to Apple’s proprietary cameras and webcam app, there are also ways to connect your iPad via Wi-Fi to a webcam connected to your computer.
Apps like WebCamera, iCam, and JumiCam allow users to connect to a computer’s webcam. It does this by installing an app on your iPad and a sister app installed on your PC or Mac.
They connect to each other over Wi-Fi and allow you to use your webcam and stream it to your iPad over your network. Some will allow you to stream over your cellular service if your iPad has that.
AirCam has the best video quality out of the three webcam apps. It can get a bit laggy, and you can also add IP cameras and do things like enable night vision and remote access.
iCam is one of the more popular webcam/iPad streamers, and right now, it has the highest ratings on the AppStore.
Set up is simple. Install the software on your Mac or PC, install the app on your iPad, and then automatically find the source of the camera on the network you are using. It couldn’t be easier.
WebCamera allows you to turn your iPad into a high-quality webcam and microphone. Simply connect it to a PC or Mac with Wi-Fi.
The picture and audio quality is decent, and the app itself only costs $4.99.
iPad Pro USB Camera Adapter
For many years the iPad’s lack of third-party webcam apps has frustrated iPad users.
Shortly after launching the iPad Pro, Apple made good on a promise and offered an accessory enabling USB cameras to plug into iPads for the first time.
You have to buy the powered USB Camer Adapter port from the Apple website. It’s simply a matter of connecting the webcam to the powered adapter, and the iPad will recognize the webcam and ask if you want to connect to it.
But this does come with the drawback of the expense of an iPad pro. Buying an iPad Pro so that you can connect to a webcam is probably a waste of money. It’s much better to use the option to stream over your Wi-Fi network from a camera connected to your PC.
Apple iPad Camera Connection Kit
You would think the Apple iPad Camera Connection kit would solve this problem on regular iPads, but alas, it is not.
The purpose of the Camera Connection Kit is to make it easier for you to download photos and videos from your digital camera and onto the iPad.
Essentially, this turns your iPad into a display for the pictures on your DSLR or digital point and shoot cameras.
So there you have it, everything you need to know about connecting a webcam to an iPad. It can be done but just perhaps not in the way you would want.