It was back in 2019 when I ranted about the impractical speaker setup on the old iPad design that you currently see on the budget iPad series. Turns out, even with the launch of the 2021 iPad, Apple is still turning a blind eye to the issue. Or the company is still focusing on the new buttonless design that it flaunts on the iPad Pro, iPad Air, and the new iPad mini 6.
However, even the new appearance has a big design flaw that ruins the experience during Facetime video calls. Yes, I am talking about the vertical front camera placement on the iPad Pro, both 11-inch and 12.9-inch. Most uses cases of the iPad like video calls, watching movies, etc. require people to use it in landscape mode. Even the pocket-burning Magic Keyboard wants us to use the iPad horizontally.
But when you look at the front camera, it’s still placed at the top of the iPad when in portrait mode and shifts to the left or right when you rotate it. Now, when you open the camera app or Facetime, you’ll find that your face is always looking sideways during video calls if looking downwards in portrait mode wasn’t enough of a pain.
Of course, it’s not an easy task either to look at the lens all the time and miss out on the facial expressions of the other person. Apple has been sitting on this design for years now.
For a company like Apple, design changes don’t happen overnight like in the case of Xiaomi and Vivo. However, Apple’s designers should consider how the new iPad is being repurposed to be a touch-screen Mac replacement, and treat its front camera placement the same way.
People face legit problems sometimes and complain about them. First, the unusual camera placement was on the iPad Pro, then without doing anything Apple put it as it is on the Air and mini 6 as well.
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And, this comes from a company that puts so much “effort” into R&D and testing its products all in the name of making them flawless.
However, given the size, mini 6 users may not mind it much. Yes, we did get Center Stage as a workaround that allows the camera to follow the user during video calls. If that helps.
Thankfully, a recent leak suggests Apple might be working on an iPad design that optimizes the camera placement for the horizontal orientation. A tweet from the leaskter Dylan (via Gizmodo) suggests that Apple is also planning to make the landscape mode the default setting for iPad Pro and even the Apple logo.
However, it is yet to be seen if the next iPad Pro refresh would bring the aforementioned changes and whether it would trickle down to other iPad models too. Still, it would be a big satisfaction for the Apple fans who use iPad Pros as their daily driver.
It took so many years because Apple is already known for its habit of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” and ignoring things sometimes.
Talking about the speaker issue, it’s probably never going to be fixed as the old design is having a slow death and only one iPad model is carrying the legacy right now. But if Apple wants to continue selling it, now is the time to make some changes.