We want to forget this as soon as possible, but Apple has included 720p webcams in its devices for years when 4K resolution was already standard on most screens and televisions. Now those cameras are finally 1080p, but what we saw in the opening speech from WWDC 2022 makes us think that we may not see any improvement in these cameras for a long time.
At the event, we saw something fantastic that shows how integration between Apple devices has its benefits: the use of latest generation iPhones like webcams. Even the wide angle of the iPhone 13 Pro is used to focus on the table without having to place this iPhone in a too forced position. This can be done with iOS 16 and macOS 13 Ventura.
iPhone cameras are capable of recording at 4K resolution, so can technically deliver the same resolution in a videoconference (this will depend on whether they free up this capability and the bandwidth of our connection and videoconference services). Is it possible for Apple to decide offer this resolution via the iPhone and not with the integrated cameras themselves?
The move isn’t rumored but it’s not impossible, and it would be a perfect excuse to maintain the current resolution of FaceTime cameras for many more years. “You can use 4K with the iPhone, so we don’t need to bring it into MacBooks.” This is also a motivation for Mac users to stick with the phone.
It is also possible that this will change over the years: 4K will increasingly go from something commonplace to something essential for all our activities, and 4K cameras will gradually become cheaper to break out of their niche and become the norm. This iPhone thing may delay the arrival of 4K FaceTime cameras on the Mac, but it has to be something that happens sooner or later.