The Mac’s FaceTime camera sucks – 720p or 1080p, it doesn’t matter. But Apple can make great cameras, like the ones in the iPhone, and with macOS Ventura and iOS 16, Apple is using its iPhone cameras so they can be used as webcams through a new enhancement to macOS’s Continuity Camera feature.
If you’re tired of being ashamed of the Mac’s image quality during video conferencing, or if you want better quality video recordings of yourself you want to use, Continuity Camera is the answer. And luckily, it’s so easy to set up and use that you’ll rely on it and only use the Mac’s built-in camera in an emergency.
Here’s how to set up and use Continuity Camera. But first, here are the requirements:
A Mac with macOS Ventura (the public beta is available now, with the official release this fall)
A iPhone 8 or XR with iOS 16 (the public beta is available now, with the official release this fall)
Signed in to the same Apple ID account on the Mac and iPhone
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabled on both devices
iPhone 11 or later the habits Central stage and Desk view Characteristics
iPhone 12 or later the habits studio light feature
You probably want a camera mount that can hold the iPhone in place on top of your Mac’s screen. In this article, I’m using a pre-release version of Belkin’s iPhone mount for MacBook, which is not yet available. It will be available in the fall, and keep in mind that the final version may differ slightly from the one I used. If you don’t have a support, you can use a tripod with a phone mount.
Using an iPhone as a webcam in macOS Ventura
Time to complete: 3 minutes
Tools needed: Camera Mount
Required materials: Mac, iPhone 8 or later
Enable Continuity Camera on iPhone
Open the Settings app on your iPhone, then tap General > AirPlay and Transferand then turn on the switch for the Continuity Camera Webcam institution. Exit Settings.
Mount the iPhone on top of the Mac screen using a mount or mount, or set it up with a tripod or other method. You can even hold the iPhone – the phone just needs to be within Bluetooth range of the Mac.
Open a video app on your Mac
On your Mac, open the video app you want to use: FaceTime, Zoom, etc. (In this demo, I’m using QuickTime.) Once you’ve launched the app, go to the setting that allows you to select a camera; in QuickTime, there is a menu next to the record button. Your iPhone’s name should appear in the list of available cameras. Select your iPhone, and that’s it! You should be using your iPhone as the Mac’s webcam. (Note: At the time of writing, iMovie did not support Continuity Camera.)
You may also be able to select the iPhone’s microphone as the audio input device. Where you select the microphone depends on the app. In QuickTime above, it’s in the same menu as the camera selection.
Enable desk view
Desk View uses the Ultra Wide camera on the iPhone (iPhone 11 or later required) to take a view of your desk. It can also capture you at the same time, so you can do desktop demonstrations,
However, at the time of writing, Desk View has a fixed viewing angle, and that angle is such that it cannot see a MacBook keyboard when the iPhone is mounted on top of the laptop’s display. foot for the laptop. Apple doesn’t know if the angle will be adjustable in the future.
To enable Desk View, Continuity Camera must be active. Open the Control Center in the menu bar and click the Video Effects button (this button does not appear when the camera is idle). A Video Effects menu appears; select Desk view. This is also where you turn off Desk View.
A Desk View app will launch. To see the video app you are using and the DeskView app at the same time, try arranging the windows side by side so you can see them better (Window > Tile window to the left/right of the screen), however, some apps (like FaceTime) don’t work with tiles.
How to turn on Center Stage
Center Stage is an effect that keeps you in the center of the frame (iPhone 11 or later required). With Continuity Camera running, open the Control Center from the menu bar and click the Video Effects knob. A Video Effects menu will appear, then select Central stage.
How to enable portrait mode
Portrait mode is an effect that blurs the background. In the Control Center in the menu bar, click the Video Effects knob. From the Video Effects menu, select Portrait and the background will fade.
Enable Studio Light
Studio Light uses the iPhone flash as a light to brighten up your photo (requires iPhone 12 or later). With Continuity Camera running, open the Control Center from the menu bar and click the Video Effects knob. Then select studio light.
How to disconnect your iPhone as a Mac webcam
All you have to do is close the video app you are using on your Mac. The iPhone can display the above screen and you just need to press . to tap Disconnect.