iPhone as Mac webcam: How to use Continuity Camera

Apple is expanding the capability of the continuous camera feature this year with macOS Ventura and iOS 16. Users will now be able to use the iPhone as a Mac webcam for a high-quality wireless experience. Stay tuned for a hands-on look at how to use the Continuity Camera.

Continuity Camera debuted with macOS Mojave and allowed users to take photos with an iPhone or iPad and view them on a Mac instantly. Now this has got a huge improvement with the option to use the iPhone as a Mac webcam in the upcoming new software.

It really offers a huge leap in performance when compared to using the webcam built into a MacBook Air, Pro, iMac or Studio Display. And it’s probably better than most standalone webcams, too.

Here’s how Apple describes the new functionality:

With the power of continuity, your Mac can automatically recognize and use the camera on your iPhone when you’re nearby—without having to activate or select it—and your iPhone can connect to your Mac wirelessly for more flexibility. Continuity Camera brings innovative features to all Mac computers including Center Stage, Portrait Mode, and the new Studio Light – an effect that beautifully illuminates the user’s face while dimming the background. Plus, Continuity Camera taps the iPhone’s Ultra Wide Camera to enable Office View, which simultaneously shows the user’s face and an overhead view of their office—great for making DIY videos, viewing drawings via FaceTime, and more. “.

iOS 16 and macOS Ventura are Currently available as a developer beta. Public free trials are due to arrive in July. Learn more about installing iOS 16 and macOS Ventura in our complete guides.

Another killer way to use your iPhone as your Mac’s webcam is Camo by Reincubate, especially if you don’t want to run the Continuity Camera test beta. It’s a free download – the basic features are free, the advanced features are paid.

iPhone as Mac webcam: How Continuity Camera Works

How to enable camera continuity

  1. When you’re running iOS 16 and macOS Ventura, check it out WiFi and Bluetooth are on For both Mac and iPhone
  2. Make sure your Mac and iPhone are signed in with a file Same Apple ID and use 2FA (per Apple)
  3. By default, Continuity Camera is turned on – but you can confirm this by going to your iPhone Settings app > General > AirPlay & Handoff > Continuity Camera Webcam and make sure it is turned on
  4. Bring your iPhone near your Mac While running FaceTime, Photo Booth, Zoom, or any other app that can use the camera (also in a web browser)
  5. Your Mac should automatically switch to using the iPhone’s back camera
  6. If your iPhone camera is not used automatically, tap Video preferences for whatever app you are using and choose your iPhone from the list (you can also use your iPhone’s microphone

Below is what your iPhone screen will show when using the continuity camera. Even third-party apps like Zoom work with “Automatic camera selection”.

iPhone like Mac webcam features

Once you use your iPhone as a Mac webcam with iOS 16 and macOS Ventura, you can access useful features like Center Stage, Portrait, Studio Light, or Desk View.

  1. Click the Control Center icon in the menu bar of your Mac (two tweaks icon in the upper right corner)
  2. Choose video effects in the upper left corner
  3. You can now choose between using Center Stage, Portrait, Studio Light or Desk View
    • In our experience, Desk View is a bit wonky but interesting nonetheless
    • Desk View also now opens in its own app
 iPhone as Continuity Camera 3 for Mac webcam

The continuity camera works 40 feet or so away from a connected Mac. So you don’t have to have your iPhone inches away from your Mac to use this feature.

Continuity Camera Video Walkthrough

Take a closer look at using the iPhone as a Mac webcam with Continuity Camera and more details in my colleague Miles’ video below!

iPhone Mounts

In Apple’s WWDC keynote when introducing the Continuity Camera, it said it would release private iPhone mounts via third parties.

In the meantime, two great options are the flexible iPhone holders or Joby mounts. And you can also make it yourself if you have a 3D printer:

What do you think of the Continuity Camera on your Mac? Is it something you use or are excited to use? Or are you all set with the built-in webcam or other existing Mac webcam? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Thank you for reading our guide on how to use iPhone as a Mac webcam with Continuity Camera!

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