July 3, 2022

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Continuity Camera: Apple explains how your iPhone will become a Mac webcam

Continuity Camera: Apple explains how your iPhone will become a Mac webcam

It was easy to laugh yesterday when Apple revealed it Soon you will be able to stick your iPhone to the back of your Mac For a better webcam. Some joked that the Apple design legend Jony Eve was so from crying somewhere. Others wondered if this really was the best Apple could offer after years of lovable MacBook images and how Apple Studio Display Camera Failed.

But today, Apple software engineer Karen Shing Spend some time explaining How the new Continuity Camera feature for macOS Ventura will work at WWDC 2022 – and it sounds impressive. It can make your iPhone a complete camera for Mac, one that does everything you would expect and more.

If you don’t want to watch a 20 minute presentation, here’s the TL; DR:

macOS will detect your iPhone as a camera and microphone, period, so All The camera app should work. While Apple only showed FaceTime and mentioned Zoom, Teams, and Webex during the big WWDC 2022 keynote, developers shouldn’t do anything for their apps to work.

It’s a camera! No need for special APIs.

You get Portrait Mode, “Studio Light” and Center Stage options regardless of the app as well. It’s in the Control Center drop-down menu, along with the iPhone battery.

You can turn your iPhone in any orientation, and it will still work. You get the zoom effect if your iPhone is in portrait orientation. Here’s a quick and dirty image slider that shows the difference:

A rough idea of ​​the vertical versus horizontal direction.

FaceTime isn’t the only app that will “magically” turn on your iPhone when you drop it. Xing illustrated this with Zoom and Apple show An API to automatically select the camera that other apps can use as well. macOS Ventura will automatically switch to your iPhone if it’s on a stand And the Either connected via USB or detected as “Nearby” using Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

Apple recommends giving users the toggle to turn off automatic camera selection as well.

It works wired – not just wireless. USB cables are fine if you’re concerned about interference or your iPhone staying charged.

Apps can allow your Mac to take photos and videos from your iPhone as well. In addition, it can optionally pass “metadata” for face detection and body detection, which seems a little intriguing and a little creepy at the same time. It captures a maximum resolution of 1920 x 1440 and 60 frames per second.

There is also an API for Apple’s elegant Desk View mode. Apple has come up with a way to bend and crop photos from the iPhone’s ultra-wide lens to let you show things off your desktop without moving your phone. This is available to app developers as well, and Xing has demonstrated it as a way to apply in Zoom:

You can select Desk View in Zoom just like any other viewing tool.

App developers can also capture videos at 30 frames per second and at a resolution of 1920 x 1440 from Desk View.

(You can watch a better Desk View demo at 1:40 In this video.)

Unfortunately, none of this works with the old iPhones you’re sitting on in the tray. Continuity Camera requires iOS 16 as well as macOS 13, Xing revealed — and unfortunately, iPhone 6S, 7, first generation iPhone SE and earlier will not get iOS 16 software update. That’s a shame because it looks like it could be a great way to cash in on an old phone that doesn’t have resale value. Still there Other ways to turn an old spare phone into a webcam.

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