What is Continuity Camera
Simply put, it turns the iPhone into a webcam for the Mac. So suddenly from an average webcam you get one of the better — and rather expensive — ones.
How does it really work?
You will need a camera mount — the one we tested was a prototype made by Belkin and is expected to be sold by Apple — that just clips on the MacBook and works seamlessly. It uses Apple’s MagSafe charging tech, which means the iPhone magnetically gets attached to it. It looks a bit awkward at first but surprisingly remains glued to the MacBook rather safely.
iPhone on a Mac is good
We used the Continuity Camera on the macOS Ventura beta version and it worked really well. A Mac can immediately recognise when an iPhone is nearby and prompt you if you want to use it. The difference between the Mac webcam and using the iPhone as a webcam is striking. Not just that, you get a bunch of cool features. Take Desk View, for instance. Using Desk View you can actually show what’s happening on your table/desk in front of the Mac. A lot of people — vloggers and video content creators — will find the feature rather handy.
You also get Portrait Mode, Studio Light and Centre Stage — features that make you look better and use the iPhone’s camera effectively to make video calls a far better experience. It worked smoothly with FaceTime and is also compatible with all video calling platforms.
What you should know
The feature is now available with macOS Ventura. However, as good as the feature is, you will need an iPhone that runs iOS 16. So anyone with iPhone 6s or iPhone 7 or even first-gen iPhone SE will not be able to use the feature. For Macs also, you will need a model that is not older than 2016. That’s a pity actually as it could have made perfect sense to use an older iPhone as a webcam for the MacBook.