What is Center Stage / Follow Mode on iPad and Mac?

On compatible iPad models, as well as Mac computers running the Apple StudioDisplay can be used, there is the camera function Center StageTo German follow mode. This combines an ultra wide-angle camera, machine learning and apps like FaceTime in a smart way. The goal is to always keep the person in front of the camera in the center of the video / video call. By recognizing people, the image section is also expanded when more people join or people who are already in the image move apart. You can find more information and instructions on how to activate follow mode / center stage here.

Which iPad and Mac models are compatible with Follow mode?

Not all tablets are compatible with follow mode. Also, not all models of Mac, iMac, and MacBook can be used with the Studio Display. On a Info page On the subject, Apple specifies these iPad models that can be used with the camera feature (as of mid-June 2022):

  • iPad Air (5rd generation)
  • iPad Pro (12,9″, 5th generation)
  • iPad Pro (11″, 3th generation)
  • iPad (9th generation)
  • iPad mini (6th generation)

Which Macs are compatible with the Studio Display, I summarized that for you here. Roughly speaking, it's a lot of the computers and laptops released in 2016 or later. If you can use your Apple computer with the 5K monitor, you can also use the integrated camera and its functions.

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Enable and disable Follow Mode from Control Center

If you're in a FaceTime call or other compatible video calling/recording app, you can use the control center switch between portrait and follow mode. On the iPad, access Control Center by swiping down from the top-right corner with one finger. On the Mac, click on the slider icon in the top right corner of the menu bar. Then it continues as follows under both macOS and iPadOS:

  1. Tap or click the video effects (camera icon).
  2. Select follow mode (person in a frame) to activate center stage
  3. Select Portrait (person against white background) to disable Center Stage
On macOS and iPadOS, you can select the camera follow mode from Control Center. With just a few clicks or a few taps, you can turn Center Stage on or off.

On macOS and iPadOS, you can select the camera follow mode from Control Center. With just a few clicks or a few taps, you can turn Center Stage on or off.

Do you use the camera feature to center people in FaceTime or other video apps? Or is that an unnecessary gimmick for you? Feel free to leave a comment with your opinions and experiences on the topic.

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