How to use your iPhone as a webcam with Continuity Camera

Camera Keep working with Office View on your MacBook
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Use the Continuity Camera by opening FaceTime, Photo Booth, or any other application that requires a webcam on your Mac. Choose your iPhone from the app’s video or camera settings. Open Control Center to use additional features such as Center Stage, Portrait mode, or Desk View.

With iOS 16 and macOS 13, you can use Apple’s Continuity Camera to turn your compatible iPhone into a high-quality webcam. It is useful, convenient and simple. Let’s dive in.

Continuity requirements for the camera

Even if you have the best built-in webcam (like the one in 2021 MacBook Pro), your Mac will provide a minimal image of your iPhone. Optics, overall resolution, and low-light performance are better on an iPhone designed with photography and videography in mind.

Fortunately, the Continuity Camera feature allows you to use the high-quality rear camera of your iPhone as a webcam for your Mac.

To use this feature, you’ll need an iPhone XR (released in 2018) or later, including iPhone SE 2020 And the 2022 update. This phone must be turned on iOS 16which was released in September 2022.

macOS 13 Ventura Continuity Camera
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In addition, the newer your iPhone is, the more features you can access. For example, the theater center, a feature He follows you around the room using some magic softwareWorks with iPhone 11 or later. Desk View, which shows your desk in front of you, works on iPhone 11 or later (but not iPhone SE). For the Studio Light feature, which artificially enhances the lighting in your scene, you’ll need an iPhone 12 or later.

Continuity Camera is built into macOS 13 Ventura. this means Any Mac capable of running macOS 13 Continuity camera can be used. The feature works in both wired and wireless modes. You don’t need to connect your iPhone to your Mac to use it, although you may want to connect to power if the battery is low.

Don’t worry – you’ll see a notification on your Mac when your iPhone’s battery is low, so you’ll know when it’s plugged in.

How to use your iPhone as a webcam

You should be able to use Continuity Camera in most webcam applications. You may need to explicitly specify your iPhone as an entry in the app settings, which will be different for each app you use.

During testing, we were able to get the feature to work (wirelessly) in the following apps:

  • photo booth: Click “Camera” at the top of the screen, then choose your iPhone.
  • Quicktime player: Click File > New Movie, then select your iPhone from the drop-down box next to the Record button.
  • confrontation time: Click “Video” at the top of the screen, then select your iPhone under the “Camera” subheading.
  • slackClick your user icon in the top-right corner of the app, then select Preferences > Audio & Video and choose your iPhone from the drop-down menu.

Some apps default to your iPhone’s camera whenever it’s detected nearby. Occasionally, this takes a few seconds for the iPhone to “bing” and bring up the disclaimer screen to indicate that it’s currently in Continuity Camera mode.

What you see on your iPhone when the continuity camera is active

A MUST HAVE ANY APP Technically Work, though if you want to use the feature with a browser like Safari, Apple has implemented some additional security features to avoid accidental streaming.

Apple responded to a Reddit user A question About using the browser’s continuity camera to be told that the iPhone must be “in ‘magic mode’ of landscape, screen off, locked, motionless (unhandheld), and unobstructed” to work. This means that you will not be able to turn on the feature in Safari while holding your iPhone.

One solution is to prop your iPhone in landscape mode until it is plugged in, then hold and move it as needed.

Using Center Stage, Portrait, Studio Lighting and Desk Mode

While using your iPhone as a webcam, tap Menu bar control center at the top (right) of the screen, then tap Video Effects. From here, you can enable several different effects that will affect how your webcam looks wherever it is used.

Activate video effects in Control Center in macOS 13 Ventura

The Center Stage feature is perhaps the most useful feature. While this mode is enabled, you can roam the vicinity. Your iPhone will follow you as long as you don’t go too far. The quality may decrease as you walk, as your iPhone camera is sharper in the middle of the frame.

The vertical position is the same Portrait mode found in iPhone camera. It offers an artificial (but often impressive) false depth of field effect, which is perfect for blurring the background of a shot. Studio Light is another iPhone feature that artificially enhances the lighting in your shot.

Finally, the feature called Desk View is perhaps the most interesting. When you enable it for the first time, you will be asked to “set up” the shot by selecting your office area. On a FaceTime call, this view will be shared automatically. In other apps, you’ll need to use the in-app screen sharing feature to select the “Desk View” window that appears for this to work.

Mount your iPhone for best results

You can mount your iPhone to your MacBook using a device specifically designed for this purpose Belkin MagSafe iPhone Mount. This attaches to your MacBook cover and ensures that your iPhone is always in top condition whether you’re answering a FaceTime call, using Slack, or in the middle of a Google Meet web conference.

Safari will automatically pick up your iPhone whenever it is installed in place. It was not You have To use a Belkin adapter (or any adapter designed for a specific purpose). Practically any iPhone mount will do, such as a file GorillaPod Attached to a tripod grip or even 3D printing solution Your own. Of course, a traditional book-and-strip combo works, too.

Continuity camera not working? Try these fixes

Continuity Camera only works if you meet all requirements. In addition to owning an iPhone XR or later running iOS 16 and a Mac with macOS 13 Ventura, you’ll also need to make sure that your iPhone and Mac are linked to the same Apple ID.

You will also need to have Two-factor authentication is enabled on your accountand you must select your iPhone as the camera of your choice in whatever app you are using.

Select the webcam to use with the Continuity Camera

You’ll need to enable Bluetooth and Wi-Fi on your iPhone and Mac, with both devices within range of each other (we won’t be apart more than 30 feet). Personal Contact Point It can’t be active on your iPhone (Settings > Personal Hotspot), and Internet sharing can’t be active on your Mac (System Settings > General > Sharing). You also can’t use AirPlay on your Mac or connect to iPad using SideCar also.

We’ve noticed issues running the continuous camera wirelessly while using the VPN. Disabling the VPN connection on both devices fixed the issue.

If you’ve tried everything, try Continuity Camera in wired mode by connecting your iPhone to your Mac with a cable and trusting each device when prompted.

Connect iPhone to Mac running macOS 13

Apple recommends locking your iPhone, unlocking it, and locking it again to solve some issues. Restarting both devices also fixed an issue we ran into afterwards Install macOS 13 Ventura.

Finally, installing any pending updates under (System Settings) > General > Software Update (on both devices) might be worth a shot if you’re still having issues.

Use your iPhone as a microphone with the Continuity Camera

The continuity camera can also act as a wireless microphone. You can select your iPhone under System Settings > Sound > Input to use for environmental audio capture.

Choose your iPhone as a microphone in macOS 13's Audio Settings

During activity, you can tap Control Center followed by Microphone Mode to select Sound Isolation (which attempts to stifle environmental sounds) or Broad Spectrum (which includes a wide range of sounds around you), as well as the iPhone’s “standard” audio capture.

Instead, use third-party apps or a dedicated webcam

We’ve covered it before Third-party solutions to using your iPhone as a webcamThis might be worth a shot if your current setup isn’t compatible with the Continuity Camera.

Alternatively, you can Get a capture card and use your standard camera for the best possible quality. For a plug and play solution, consider using a dedicated USB webcam instead.


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