Skip to main content

WWDC’s best demo involved turning an iPhone into a webcam

In a product demo at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), Apple showed how the iPhone can now act as a humorously large webcam for your Mac. Called Continuity Camera, it’s a new way to bring features of the iPhone’s camera to your Mac, and the results were impressive.

Using a Belkin accessory and an iOS 16 iPhone, the demo showed how you can wirelessly attach an iPhone to the top of a MacBook or Apple monitor and use it as a webcam.

An iPhone being used in a continuity demo with a Mac laptop
Image used with permission by copyright holder

To enable this function, you need only to bring your iPhone close to your Mac from any direction. It will automatically and wirelessly connect the two devices so you can use the iPhone’s main cameras as the webcam for the FaceTime calls instead of the computer or laptop cameras.

Why would you do this? Well, if you’re on an older Mac, it’d be a significant upgrade in terms of image quality. Older MacBook have only a 720p webcam, whereas the new M2 MacBook Air has an upgraded 1080p camera.

Apple also showed off a secondary benefit of Continuity Camera — and this one is just downright cool. Using the iPhone’s wide-angle lens, you can get a shot looking down at your desk as if you had a second top-down camera setup.

Continuity Camera being used in a FaceTime call.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Continuity Camera also brings other iPhone-specific camera features to show up within FaceTime on the Mac device, such as Center Stage and Portrait Mode support. There’s even a new feature called Studio Light, which lightens the face of the users and darkens the background.

Apple did not specify if Continuity Camera would function in other video-calling apps, such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams.

Apple is working with the accessory maker Belkin to create mounts for the iPhone to pair with the continuity feature for the Mac. The feature will be rolling out later this year in updates to both MacOS and iOS.

Editors' Recommendations

Fionna Agomuoh
Fionna Agomuoh is a technology journalist with over a decade of experience writing about various consumer electronics topics…
From click wheels to trackpads, these are the best Apple designs of all time
macbook air

This Saturday marks Apple’s 47th birthday as a company, and it’s fair to say the company has dreamed up some incredible designs over the years. Sure, it’s had a few design howlers too, but when it comes to consistency, the designers at Apple have more wins under their belt than anyone.

Looking back at the past 47 years, these are the physical pieces of tech design that captivated us most from some of its most beloved products and show just how deep Apple's design pedigree goes.
The iMac G3’s translucent case

Read more
Why Apple’s foldable MacBook could be the Mac’s iPhone X moment
A concept visual of a foldable screen MacBook Folio.

These days, it seems every company and their dog is developing a folding device and trying to convince people it will be the next big thing. Now, Apple is apparently jumping on the bandwagon and is poised to unveil a MacBook with a 20-inch folding display in 2026 or 2027. If it goes well, this could be an even more seismic shift for the Mac than the transition to Apple silicon chips.

In fact, I’m thinking that a laptop with a folding screen could be the Mac’s iPhone X moment -- a product that completely resets an entire product lineup, not just for Apple, but for the entire industry. That means there’s a huge amount at stake.

Read more
Apple slashes trade-in values for its iPhones and more
apple iphone xr review xxl

For at least the third time this year, Apple has slashed the trade-in values for its various products.

It means that if you’re shopping at Apple during this holiday season and plan to hand over your old device for a new one, the credit you receive will be less than if you’d done it before November 10.

Read more