How to use Continuity Camera on macOS Ventura and iOS 16

How to use continuity camera on macOS Ventura

Those that have used MacBooks and iMacs know that the cameras on these devices are mediocre. While Apple has introduced 1080p cameras in the newly launched MacBook Air and MacBook Pro models, they’re nothing to write home about. 

On the contrary, the iPhone features an excellent set of cameras. To utilize the hardware capabilities of the iPhones fully, Apple has introduced a new feature in Continuity Camera, which allows you to use your iPhone as a Webcam. 

Apple’s recent software updates, iOS 16 and macOS Ventura bring in minor changes capable of making a huge difference in day-to-day usage. The continuity camera is one feature that might look insignificant but makes a huge difference. 

Requirements to use an iPhone as a webcam in macOS Ventura

  • A Mac device updated to macOS Ventura. 
  • An iPhone updated to iOS 16 (iPhone 8 and above).
  • Both Mac and iPhone should be logged in with the same Apple ID. 
  • Bluetooth and Wi-Fi should be enabled on both devices.  
  • Only iPhone 11 and above support Desk View and Centre Stage features.  
  • Only iPhone 12 and above support the Studio Light feature.  

How to turn on Continuity Camera webcam on iPhone 

While the Continuity Camera is enabled by default in iOS 16, it’s wiser to check the setting for a seamless experience.

  1. On your iPhone, go to the Settings app.
  2. GeneralAirPlay & Handoff.
  3. Here, toggle on Continuity Camera.

    How to turn on Continuity Camera webcam on iPhone 

Now, your iPhone is ready to function as a webcam for your Mac. It can capture video as well as audio. So you get an upgrade in terms of video quality and improved audio input thanks to microphones on your iPhone.  

However, only the rear camera can be used as a webcam. Also, keep your iPhone near your Mac, so it is within range.  

Now, you can use the Continuity Camera feature within apps downloaded on your Mac or video calling/conferencing websites. We have listed step-by-step guides for both methods.  

Use Continuity Camera in any video calling app on Mac 

You can use Continuity Camera with any app that supports video calling on your Mac; FaceTime, Zoom, Skype, etc., are some examples.

We have used FaceTime as an example. There is a chance that the exact titles might differ in the Menu Bar, but the steps below should give you a rough idea of how to navigate your way around enabling Continuity Camera.  

  1. Open FaceTime (or the app of your choice) on Mac. 
    Ensure both the iPhone and Mac are connected to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.  
  2. Click the Video tab located in the Menu Bar.
    The Title might differ based on which app you’re using. 

    Select iPhone from list of available devices on Mac 
  3. Select your iPhone from the list of available devices.
    (For example, “iPhone 13 Pro Max Camera”) 

    Use Continuity Camera in any video calling app on Mac
  4. Your iPhone will now function as a webcam.  

You can view the difference in the image quality of the Macs 720p camera and the iPhone camera in the images above.

Use Continuity Camera on video conferencing websites  

As of writing this article, the feature works flawlessly on Safari and Chrome web browsers, and we expect it to support most web browsers.  

  1. Open Google Meet ( or the video calling website of your choice) on Mac. 
    (Google Meet, Zoom, etc., are some examples)  
    Ensure both the iPhone and Mac are connected to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. 
  2. Navigate to Settings.  

    Navigate to Settings in Google meet on Mac
  3. Click Video. (Select Video input settings of the website) 
  4. Under the camera section, select your iPhone from the list of available devices.
    (For example, “iPhone 13 Pro Max Camera”) 

    Under camera section select iPhone from list of available devices
  5. Your iPhone will now function as a webcam. 

Do note that you cannot use your iPhone when it’s being used as a webcam. If you want to use your iPhone or want to stop using your iPhone as a webcam, tap Disconnect on your iPhone.

It’ll automatically be locked, and the screen will display a message, “Connected to iGB’s MacBook Pro.” You also have the option to Pause using your iPhone as the camera.  

How to use Portrait Mode, Centre Stage, Studio Light, and Desk View on Mac 

Apple has done a great job at utilizing the iPhone’s camera hardware. One of the benefits of using your iPhone as a webcam is you get access to several features that wouldn’t have been available otherwise.

Portrait mode, Centre Stage, Studio Light, and the newly introduced Desk View are all the features, and here’s what they offer: 

  1. Portrait Mode: The Camera focuses on the subject (the person attending the call) and applies a bokeh (blur) to the background of the video. It functions similarly to Cinematic Mode found while recording videos on the iPhone.  
  2. Centre Stage: It uses machine learning and adjusts the ultrawide lens on the iPhone to track your movements. If you move from one side to another, this feature helps keep you in the center of the frame. Suppose more people enter the frame while on a call; the lens will zoom out and adjust to accommodate the extra people. Centre Stage made its debut with the iPad.  
  3. Studio Light: Another feature found in iPhone’s portrait mode for images. Studio Light brightens up the subject and darkens the background.  
  4. Desk View: The implementation of desk view feels like Apple did some sorcery with it. It uses machine learning and the ultrawide sensor on the iPhone to capture your desk video. Only iPhone 11 and above support this feature. However, only iPhones with ultrawide lens support this feature, so iPhone SE 2nd and 3rd generations do not support this feature.  

With all that said, here’s how you can use these features.

How to manage video effects in Continuity Camera

  1. Open Control Centre on Mac.  
  2. Click the Video Effects tab.  
    This tab is only available when using the Continuity Camera feature. 
  3. Click Centre StagePortrait, or Studio Light to use the features.  

    Click Centre Stage, Portrait, or Studio Light to use features on Mac
  4. Click Desk View to use the feature. 

    How to manage video effects in Continuity Camera on Mac

Note: You will need to mount your iPhone on your MacBook to use the Desk View feature.  

Wrapping up…

If you use an iMac or a MacBook, the Continuity Camera feature helps you upgrade the video quality of video calls, conferences, etc. But, it’s the most useful for people using a Mac mini, Mac Studio, or Mac devices that do not have a built-in camera. 

Have you used Continuity Camera? And, if you have, what are your thoughts on the video quality and the overall implementation of the software? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.  

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