What is the Continuity Camera desktop view and how to use it



Continuity Camera lets you use an iPhone camera as a Mac webcam, but it also supports another camera feature: Desk View.

Apples New Continuity Camera feature in macOS Ventura – which allows an iPhone’s camera system to be used as a Mac webcam – is great, but it’s even better with special video effects like Desk View. The company is known for its quality camera sensors and image processing on the iPhone, but Mac cameras haven’t shared the same quality. Although most MacBooks have received improved camera hardware over the past few years, Mac webcams generally have lower image quality than smartphone cameras. With Continuity Camera, users can get the highest quality video using any great camera they own – the camera system found on the back of their iPhone.


Standard Continuity Camera mode simply uses the primary rear camera sensor of a tethered iPhone instead of a Mac’s built-in webcam. This eliminates the need for an additional webcam and ensures that video calls are made with solid image quality. However, beyond the main webcam functionality, there are also special video effects with Continuity Camera. These effects include Center Stage, Portrait Mode, Studio Light, and Desk View. Some features, such as Portrait Mode and Center Stage, are found on Apple mobile devices, while others are brand new. For example, Studio Light dims the background of a video call and brightens the subject without using external lighting. But for people who often work via video calls and virtual meetings, the most useful continuity camera feature may be the desktop view.

Related: macOS Ventura – Here is the full list of supported Macs

Apples Continuity Camera and Desktop View will work automatically, provided all settings are enabled and both devices are up to date. Users should update iPhones to iOS 16 and Macs should update to macOS Ventura. To use Continuity Camera, users must have an iPhone XR or later and a Mac compatible with macOS Ventura. Both devices must have WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity enabled for the feature to work. In addition, both devices must be signed in to the same Apple ID with two-factor authentication enabled. There are also additional requirements that must be met to use Desk View. Only iPhone 11 and later, excluding iPhone SE models, will support this feature. The desktop view limitation is because the feature requires an ultra-wide camera to show the user’s face and desktop space.

The desktop view is a quick way to get top-down angles

Desk View uses the multi-sensor camera system on an iPhone to show a user’s face and desk at the same time. The feature is a top-down virtual camera that creates a similar look without a bulky pendant mount. Setting up Desktop View is the same process as setting up Continuity Camera normal mode. First, users should mount their iPhone in landscape orientation with the rear camera pointed at the subject. After securing the iPhone, Desk View can be launched in FaceTime and other apps. In a third-party app, users need to go to Control Center from the menu bar and click “Video Effects”. Then click “Desktop Display” to start using the feature. In FaceTime, the feature is more accessible. Users simply need to click a Desktop View button in the upper right corner of an active FaceTime call, provided an iPhone camera is connected and set as the video source.

When Desk View is first activated, a configuration window opens and allows users to preview and adjust the framework. This is important because, depending on the position of the MacBook, Desk View may show more of a user’s lap than their desk. The view can be zoomed in or out in the desktop view configuration window by dragging the on-screen zoom bar. If users cannot find the correct view with Desk View using the viewfinder, Apple suggests users try positioning their iPhone in portrait orientation. Users can also change the view after closing the configuration window with an on-screen zoom bar. To stop Desk View, users can close the Desk View window. The desktop view can also be closed by clicking the screen sharing button and selecting “Stop sharing window” or “Close window”. Desk View is a special video effect in Continuity Camera which provides a quick top-down view of a user’s desktop.

Next: How to Enable System-Wide Dark Mode in macOSSource: Apple Support

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