Tuesday, September 26, 2023

So you can connect your Game Boy Camera to make video calls on the iPad

One of the most striking features of iPadOS 17 is the possibility of connect external cameras to iPad via USB. Support for the UVC standard will not only allow you to use a webcam in a FaceTime video call, but it opens the door to all kinds of compatible devices, including the Game Boy Camera.

A user has put this functionality to the test in the most recent beta of iPadOS 17, managing to connect the old Nintendo peripheral. Federico Viticci, editor of MacStoriespublished an entry detailing how you used the Game Boy Camera on your iPad Pro. Although the operating system automatically detects a webcam, doing so for a device from the 1990s requires more steps.

To enable the Game Boy Camera as a webcam on the iPad, Viticci first connected it to an Analogue Pocket. The laptop allows you to play games on the big screen with the help of a dock which has HDMI output, so the journalist leaned on a video capture to route the signal to the iPad. The process requires some additional adapters and cables, but the result is well worth it.

Image: Federico Viticci

Post by @johnvoorhees

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viticci not only made video calls with that green filter that characterizes the Nintendo camera, but was able to take advantage of some features of the operating system. Support for external cameras in iPadOS 17 includes the video filters and other features found in Control Center during a FaceTime call. Due to the low quality of the image, the Game Boy Camera supports reactionsso it will show animations when you execute a gesture.

Not just the Game Boy Camera, you can also connect your Nintendo Switch or Steam Deck to the iPad

Steam Deck connected to iPad via USB using a video capture device
Image: Federico Viticci

Use the Game Boy Camcorder in FaceTime It is a curious experiment, although not suitable for everyone. The process can be tedious and requires not only patience, but also a series of adapters and cables. Added to the Analogue Pocket and its base, you need a compatible capture card. Viticci had some problems with his NZXT card, so he used a elgato Cam Link which linked to the iPad Pro over USB-C.

Perhaps the biggest thing about UVC support in iPadOS 17 is the ability to connect other devices than webcams. With the help of a capture camera and an app called Capture Pro: UVC Viewer it is possible use your iPad screen to play games on your Nintendo Switch or Steam Deck. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom or any other title will look better on a Retina Display.

If you want to look more creative, you can transmit what you are playing to your friends through FaceTime, since the iPad will take the video signal from your console. Federico Viticci showed that a game of Elden Ring to show your face during a video call.

Support for external cameras is already activated in the beta of iPadOS 17. With the presentation date of the iPhone 15 already confirmed, the final version of the operating system would be released during the week of September 18. It is important to mention that you will need a compatible device to be able to install it.

iPadOS 17 will be available for the following iPad models:

  • 9.7-inch iPad (2018);
  • iPad Air 3 (2019);
  • iPad mini 5 (2019);
  • iPad 10.2-inch (2019);
  • iPad 10.2-inch (2020);
  • iPad Air 4 (2020);
  • 10.2-inch iPad (2021);
  • iPad mini 6 (2021);
  • iPad Air 5 (2022);
  • 10.9-inch iPad (2022);
  • iPad Pro 11-inch 2018);
  • 12.9-inch iPad Pro (2018);
  • iPad Pro 11-inch (2020);
  • 12.9-inch iPad Pro(2020);
  • 11-inch iPad Pro (2021);
  • 12.9-inch iPad Pro (2021);
  • 11-inch iPad Pro (2022);
  • 12.9-inch iPad Pro (2022).

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