An iPhone as a webcam: Apple’s Continuity Camera and Android’s response


BERLIN: In the coming months, Apple will launch its new iOS 16 operating system for iPhone and iPad, as well as macOS Ventura for Mac computers.

Among the most anticipated new features is the ability to quickly upgrade your MacBook’s webcam by mounting your iPhone to the top of the screen so you can use your phone’s top cameras instead.

For what it calls Continuity Camera, Apple has also released a special miniature iPhone stand that can be used to attach your phone to the back of the MacBook screen.

Apple says it’s not just about getting a better webcam, it’s also about enabling continuous and seamless conversation when you want to transfer a FaceTime call from your iPhone to your Mac computer.

It doesn’t stop there, and Apple also says you can use an iPhone mounted on your MacBook to simultaneously show the person on the other end of the call your desk and keyboard, as well as your face.

This is made possible by the ultra-wide-angle lens built into more recent generations of iPhones.

In practice, during video chat this means you simply press a button to open a second stream showing an overview of what’s on your desktop, allowing you to show something on your desktop or what your friends are doing. hands. It’s probably best for DIY videos and calls where you want to explain how to do something.

There’s also a follow mode and a portrait mode, as well as an effect called studio light, which lights up your face and darkens the background. You can also scan documents from your phone directly to your Mac.

And what about Android smartphones?

Google and other Android smartphone makers don’t have an answer for this webcam mode, nor are there any known plans to develop one.

This is probably due to the fact that most computers run on Microsoft, which leaves something to be desired in terms of continuity between computers and Android smartphones.

But that doesn’t mean you still can’t use your smartphone camera as a webcam. A successful solution, which turns the camera of Android smartphones or tablets into a webcam for Windows and Linux operating systems, is Droidcam.

There are a few requirements, however. Your Android mobile device must be connected to the same wireless network as your laptop or desktop computer. You will also need to install the Droidcam app on your device and the software for your computer.

This means that you will have the necessary drivers to link image and sound so that nothing stands in the way of using the webcam on your Android smartphone with Zoom, Slack, Skype and Teams. The program for the computer can be downloaded from the developer’s website. – dpa

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