It’s all possible thanks to Apple’s fantastic new “Continuity Camera” feature.
Webcams built into laptops and computer systems have sucked for years. Meanwhile, the cameras on iPhones are actually top sufficient to shoot entire episodes of network TV shows. So the usage of an iPhone as your webcam as opposed to using the mediocre one for your computer — or worse yet, spending cash on a committed webcam — just makes sense.
Which is why my favored new characteristic in macOS Ventura, Apple’s state-of-the-art operating device for its laptops and desktops, is the one that we could me do simply that. Apple calls it “Continuity Camera.” The idea is simple: Instead of the use of your laptop’s digicam, you may use your iPhone’s some distance superior camera gadget.
I’m not a video snob — hell, I’ll go through your grainy, pixelated feed so long as I can make out your face and pay attention your voice — but the use of Continuity Camera makes video calls infinitely better, with exceptionally little effort.
To get started out, you’ll need to update each your iPhone and pc to the brand new operating structures (macOS Ventura in your laptop and iOS sixteen.1 in your iPhone). You can plug your iPhone into your computer with a cable or you may use it as a wi-fi webcam — simply be warned that video calls will run down your smartphone’s battery quickly.
You’ll want to find a manner to mount your iPhone near your computer with its back cameras going through you. Apple doesn’t make any hardware to do that, so that you can move crude — by using, say, placing your telephone up against a pile of books — or you can spend a chunk of cash and get a tripod, stand, or other contraption.
My favored telephone-mounting device is the clunkily named Belkin iPhone Mount with MagSafe for Mac Notebooks, which goes for $29.95. It’s a spherical, solidly constructed disc included with a smooth rubber finish that magnetically snaps onto any iPhone with MagSafe (which means iPhone 12 or later).
Once attached, really turn out the little wedge with the Belkin logo on it and place it at the lid of your pc. You can put your phone in either portrait or panorama mode, and as a bonus, the mount comes with a touch kickstand that you can use to prop up your phone on a table to observe your favorite YouTube videos or whatever else.
“Center Stage” continues me in the body by way of robotically adjusting the video if I move around. It’s a characteristic made popular by using the Facebook Portal that Apple simply immediately-up cribbed for its recent iPads and the $1,six hundred display it sells to pros.
“Portrait” blurs the historical past. “Studio Light” illuminates my face as if I had a hoop light in the front of me whilst slightly dimming the heritage, which is beneficial if, for example, I actually have a window without delay behind me.
You can use Continuity Camera for FaceTime (manifestly), but I’ve also used it with Skype, WhatsApp, and Zoom. While video from my computer’s camera looks stupid and washed out, video from my cellphone seems proper, brilliant, punchy, and sharp. I’m getting tons of compliments now. On Zoom calls and Google Meets, I sense like a goddamn expert.
If you don’t want to (or can’t) clip your smartphone on your computer’s lid, observe my colleague Max Woolf’s lead and get a stand as an alternative. Max uses a 2020 iMac, one of the few Apple computer systems with a excessive-definition webcam, but he wasn’t glad with the end result.
“It works quality for Zoom meetings, mainly considering that convention software program compresses video,” he informed me, “however for recording such things as YouTube motion pictures or livestreaming, I desired the first-rate great viable.”
Max sprung for a $15 Jumkeet cellular telephone holder with a protracted, flexible arm type of like a silly straw that his iPhone thirteen Pro smartphone clips into. He’s nevertheless inside the early days of the usage of it, but he stated the consequences are promising.
“Both Portrait Mode and Studio Lighting certainly improve webcam great, and it doesn’t warmth up the smartphone that lots,” he stated, including that he appreciates Apple’s tight software program integration.
Finally, you don’t should be in the Apple environment in any respect to apply your telephone as a webcam. Modern Android phones have exquisite cameras too, and there’s no cause why humans the usage of Windows shouldn’t look their first-rate on video calls.
If you don’t have an iPhone or a Mac, I endorse Camo, a provider that lets you use your Android telephone with a Windows computer. You can use Camo without spending a dime, however paying $4.99 a month or $39.99 a year lets you do away with the Camo watermark from your video and use your smartphone’s flashlight as a light supply, among other matters.
For better or for worse, we’re in no way going lower back to a world without Zoom, Google Meet, or WhatsApp video calling. But as a minimum now we’ve clean, inexpensive methods to appearance our best at the same time as speaking to Marcia from sales.
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