MacBooks aren’t known for having particularly the best cameras around, with many devices still rocking a 720p snapper. With macOS Ventura and iOS 16, Apple released a new feature that let you replace a Mac’s webcam with the high-quality camera already in your pocket–your iPhone.
Continuity Camera wirelessly links your iPhone up to your Mac, allowing it to share the rear camera feed. You can use this in all sorts of video call apps, such as FaceTime, Zoom, Google Meet, and more. The microphone also gets shared, so you can switch between the two devices’ mics to find the best sound.
Here, we’ll take a look at how to use Continuity Camera and all of its extra features to level up your video call game.
How to Use Continuity Camera to Replace Your Mac’s Camera With Your iPhone
Before you can get started with Continuity Camera, there are a couple of prerequisites you need to check. Your Mac needs to be running at least macOS Ventura, and your iPhone needs to be running at least iOS 16. Both devices need to be on the same Wi-Fi network, with Bluetooth switch on as well. It works similarly to the Handoff feature between your Apple devices.
Now that’s out of the way, you can use Continuity Camera.
- Open up FaceTime on your Mac device.
- The first time you open FaceTime after updating your macOS software to Ventura, you’ll see a welcome screen explaining how Continuity Camera works.
- With the app open, head to the View tab in the menu bar.
- From here, just select your iPhone from the list instead of your device’s camera.
- You’ll see a message pop-up that takes over your iPhone screen, letting you know you’re connected. It also gives you options to pause the feed or disconnect.
- Your call will now use your iPhones camera as the webcam.
After your call, you can head back into the View tab and switch back to your Mac’s camera. You can change this at any time.
If you’re using a different video call app, such as Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, and so on. When you’re in the app, head into the app’s camera settings. From there, select your iPhone instead of the default webcam. It’ll work automatically in just the same way.
How to Use Video Effects With Continuity Camera
When using a camera on a Mac, you can select from certain video effects in the Control Center. You can continue to use these effects when using Continuity Camera. There’s also a new Desk View option, which uses your iPhone’s ultra-wide lens and some clever image processing to provide a down-shot of the desk in front of you.
Here’s how to enable video effects:
- Open the Control Center by clicking the icon in the menu bar. You can also use any keyboard shortcuts or gestures to do this.
- With the Control Center open, click the Video Effects button at the top.
- From here, click whichever effect you want to use.
- Your video call will automatically adjust the camera feed to apply your selected effect.
While most of the video effect options are available on your Mac’s camera too, Desk View is only available when you’re using Continuity Camera.
Look Better in Video Calls With Continuity Camera
With such a great camera already in your pocket, it makes perfect sense for you to be able to use it for video calls on your Mac. Using a higher-quality camera will help you to look better in your calls, and have a better picture for everyone else.
The feature also introduces Desk View, which is a really handy video effect. It’s going to benefit teachers, students, and employees in meetings the most, and we can’t wait to see it in use. It’s just one of many new features introduced in macOS Ventura.