What Is Center Stage for iPad? How to Use Center Stage in FaceTime & Zoom

FaceTiming with family or friends doesn't have to mean you're stuck sitting in one place the whole time you're on the video call. With the new Center Stage iPad feature for FaceTime, you can move around to cook, show off your dance or exercise moves, or have people enter or exit the frame and still stay perfectly zoomed, centered, and in focus.

Jump To:

What Does Center Stage Do?

Without going too deep into the technical side of things, Center Stage works by using machine learning and face detection to find and focus on people while on camera. These tools allow your iPad to adjust hands-free and in real time so no matter where you are in relation to your iPad, you will be in the center of the frame. This fun FaceTime tool can zoom in, zoom out, pan around to follow your movements (which is especially handy when doing things like cooking while also chatting on FaceTime), and adjust the frame to adapt when someone enters or leaves the frame.

Which iPads Have Center Stage?

In order to use Center Stage in FaceTime, you'll need one of the following Center Stage-compatible iPads. As of right now, the iPads that have Center Stage capabilities are:

iPhone Life
Discover your iPhone's hidden features
Get a daily tip (with screenshots and clear instructions) so you can master your iPhone in just one minute a day.
  • iPad Pro 12.9 inch (5th Generation)
  • iPad Pro 11 inch (3rd Generation)
  • iPad (9th Generation)
  • iPad mini (6th Generation)

These iPads all have the necessary ultra-wide, TrueDepth front-facing camera that Center Stage relies on to detect and follow you.

How to Turn On Center Stage during a FaceTime Call & Disable It If Needed

Center Stage is a great feature that allows you to move around during FaceTime calls without worrying about readjusting your iPad, so you'll probably want to use it more often than not. Once Center Stage has been enabled for the first time, it will be on by default every time you make a FaceTime call. However, there are times when you may not want to utilize Center Stage. For example, if you’re taking a conference all at home, you wouldn’t want your spouse or teenager walking behind your screen to change what your coworkers see in the frame. We'll show you how to enable Center Stage when you need it, and turn it off when you don't.

  1. While in a FaceTime call, swipe down from the upper-right corner to open the Control Center

    swipe down top right corner for control center to turn on center stage ipad
  2. Tap Video Effects.

    video effects to turn on center stage facetime ipad
  3. Tap Center Stage to change whether the feature is on or off. The blue icon means Center Stage is enabled.

  4. Additionally, when Center Stage is enabled the Video Effects button will be white and say "Center Stage."

How to Use Center Stage with Zoom on iPad

Zoom developers recently added Center Stage compatibility to the Zoom app for iPad! This means that iPad users can now enable Center Stage in Zoom while on a Zoom call. Here's how to use Center Stage with Zoom:

  1. While on a Zoom call, tap anywhere on the screen to bring up the menu icons.
  2. To enable Center Stage in Zoom, Turn On Center Stage on the left side of the screen.

  3. To disable Center Stage, Turn Off Center Stage on the left side of the screen.

And that's it! Now you know how to use Center Stage on iPad in Zoom and FaceTime, so you don't have to worry about sitting perfectly still to stay in the frame during your video calls. 

Master your iPhone in one minute a day: Sign up here to get our FREE Tip of the Day delivered right to your inbox.

Author Details

Emma Chase's picture

Author Details

Emma Chase

Emma Chase is a freelance writer for iPhone Life. She has her Bachelors degree in Communication from the University of Northern Iowa. Emma has worked in many sectors in her professional career, including the higher education, finance, and nonprofit. Emma lives in small-town Iowa with her husband and two children. When she’s not geeking out over the newest Apple product or wrangling her kids, Emma enjoys a good book, crocheting, and trying new foods.