My whole life is on video now. Zoom, Houseparty, Facetime, Hangout, Skype — I'm signing up for all these services to keep up with business, family, friends. We're swapping devices. We're using phones, laptops, iPads, Chromebooks, whatever's around.Whatever you pick, there's a drawback. Phones are easy to use and have great front-facing cameras, but are small and hard to share. Laptops are great for propping up and being hands-free, and the camera's perfectly positioned — but laptops are bulky, and the cameras are often terrible. (Tips for making even a mediocre laptop webcam look better are here.)
Then there's the iPad. That bigger display, that better-than-your-laptop front-facing camera, its ease of use. It sounds like group-chat magic. It generally is, but there are some issues, too.How to prop it up?The iPad on its own is a large, flat slab that you could hold in your hands, but I'd rather prop up. There are plenty of cases that double as stands, which is your obvious first step.But the thing about cases: their angles are usually limited. Apple's expensive Smart Keyboard case has only two angles, and they're angled upward, so Zooming can look like it's aimed at the ceiling or the underside of your chin.I take a few books and gently angle the case edge so the whole thing tilts down a bit, but I'm careful not to let the iPad fall, of course. Read more:More Zoom tips and tricksYou could also prop the iPad between some piles of books or heavy objects, so it stays upright (just be gentle with the iPad's glass display).Don't frame too far away from everyone, but you may need to be creative. At Passover, I had to put the iPad on a folding table and back it off a few feet so we could all be in the frame for a multifamily Passover Zoom.