Simply put, it turns the iPhone into a webcam for the Mac. So, from an average webcam, you will suddenly get a better — and rather expensive — one. 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 is attached to it magnetically. It looks a bit awkward but surprisingly remains glued to the MacBook.
The Continuity Camera on the macOS Ventura beta version worked seamlessly when we tested it. A Mac can immediately recognise when an iPhone is nearby and prompt you to use it. The difference between the regular Mac webcam and using the iPhone as a webcam is striking. You also get a bunch of cool features. Desk View, for instance, shows 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 good and use the iPhone’s camera effectively to make video calls a better experience. It worked smoothly with FaceTime and is also compatible with all video calling platforms.
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The feature will be rolled out in September or October. 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-generation iPhone SE will not be able to use the feature. The Mac also needs to be a model that is not older than 2016. That’s a pity as it could have made perfect sense to use an older iPhone as a webcam for the MacBook.