The iPad is a Landscape-First Device in 2022

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 1 min read

John Gruber: The iPad Lineup Is, Like, Growing Out Its Bangs or Something and Looks a Little Weird Right Now, but Apple TV Has Been Going to the Gym and Looks Great

The front-facing cameras ought to all be on the long side. Whatever debate there was over this 10 years ago when the iPad was new, it’s settled in today’s world of iPad-as-laptop keyboards and ubiquitous teleconferencing for meetings. But here we are with brand-new iPad Pros that still have the cameras on the short side.

Whenever I bring this up on Twitter, people say "well Matt, that's actually impossible because the magnets to hold the Apple Pencil go there, use your head." With all due respect, I don't care. Apple designs their products and everything is a dance inside these computers to make everything work together. While I can appreciate the challenge this might create for Apple's designers, that's really not my problem, and the camera setup is plainly wrong and needs to be fixed.

As Gruber points out, a decade ago you could make the argument that the iPad was a portrait-first device, and the front-facing camera was at the top of the display the way that most people use the iPad. But that's not the case today, and even new features like Center Stage only make sense in an iPad that's docked in a keyboard or propped up with a folio case, 100% of which have the iPad on landscape, not portrait. There are times to use an iPad in portrait mode, I do myself regularly, but video calls are rarely one of those times.