Danish Kapoor
Danish Kapoor

Spatial video recording capability comes to third-party applications with iOS 18

With iOS 18, Apple will allow third-party camera applications to record spatial video. This innovation was announced in a session for developers at Apple’s annual WWDC event. iOS 17.2 and later makes the special API used by Apple to capture spatial photos and videos in the built-in Camera application available to developers.

Spatial media APIs that will come with iOS 18 will allow developers to use spatial photos and videos in third-party applications. This will enrich the user experience by bringing the spatial photo and video capture capabilities that Apple offers in its own Camera app to third-party apps.

Some third-party apps, like Spatiality, already have the ability to deliver 4K HDR spatial video capture, providing more detailed shadows and highlights. However, the vast majority of apps available on the App Store do not support spatial media capture in Vision Pro format. With the new API, developers using Apple’s generic camera frameworks will be able to quickly integrate spatial video recording into their applications without having to do all this complex processing themselves.

This new API will offer a simpler use by removing the burden of complex operations such as synchronization, camera calibration, coding and metadata writing from developers. In addition, it will support spatial media recording in stereo MVHEVC video and stereo HEIC photo formats, which are Apple’s standard formats.

Spatial Video recording will not be supported on older devices

However, this API has a limitation: Older iPhone models will not support spatial video recording. Vertically aligned cameras are needed for spatial video recording, and Apple first added such cameras to the iPhone 15 Pro models. Therefore, users who want to record spatial video will need to have at least an iPhone 15 Pro or iPhone 15 Pro Max model.

It will take some time for developers to update their applications using this new API. Third-party apps will not be able to use this API before iOS 18 is publicly available. Apple typically starts accepting apps built using the latest frameworks a week or two before launch.

This development will offer more options in photography for iPhone users. Apple’s Vision Pro headset can shoot spatial photos and videos right out of the box. Users who do not have a Vision Pro headset will be able to shoot stereoscopic images and videos with the iPhone 15 Pro or iPhone 15 Pro Max. While the built-in Camera application on the device limits spatial video capture to 1080p resolution, 30 frames per second and SDR, third-party applications will be able to offer higher resolution and dynamic range.

As a result, this innovation that Apple will bring with iOS 18 will take the photo and video shooting experience to the next level by offering wider opportunities to developers and users. In this way, iPhone users will have more options to create spatial media content and will be able to save these contents in higher quality.

Danish Kapoor