How to use your iPhone as a webcam with Continuity Camera for macOS (2023)

How to use your iPhone as a webcam with Continuity Camera for macOS (1)

Jump to:

  • What is Continuity Camera?
  • What’s new?
  • Webcam requirements
  • How to use Continuity Camera
  • How to use Continuity Camera Desk View

Apple has long attempted to blur the lines between its operating systems, and in recent years the move to Apple Silicon on the Mac (and iPad) has arguably meant that the likes of macOS and iPadOS are closer than ever.

That’s not to say that there isn’t plenty of crossover between the iPhone and the Mac, though, as Apple’s most popular product line and its longest-running one get on very well indeed. From the proliferation of messages across both to using Handoff to pick up on either device where you left off with the other, the two have been building to extended Continuity features for years.

In macOS Ventura, though, things get even more useful thanks to the ability to use your iPhone as a webcam on your Mac, as well as a new Desk View mode that’s ideal for showing what you’re working on.

Disclaimer: We’re currently testing both Continuity Camera and Desk View in beta, and while the former is working well, the latter tends to crash nine times out of ten. These are things that’ll no doubt be ironed out by the time macOS Ventura and iOS 16 launch fully to the public, but don’t expect flawless support with the current beta. As ever, back up important files before installing beta builds.

What is Continuity Camera?

How to use your iPhone as a webcam with Continuity Camera for macOS (2)

(Video) How to Use Your iPhone as a Webcam on Mac (Continuity Camera Setup)

Continuity Camera is essentially a collection of features packaged together that make use of your iPhone’s camera in conjunction with your Mac. It’s been around for a while and is supported in plenty of macOS applications including Pages, Mail, and Keynote.

Prior to macOS Ventura, it was used to immediately import images, so you could select the option to attach something to an email before snapping a photo there and then, as an example.

You can also use Continuity Camera as a document scanner, and it works well for whole pages, letters, and more, while Live Text can also be used to pull text from an image on its own.

What’s new in iOS 16 and macOS Ventura?

The changes in macOS Ventura and iOS 16 are twofold. The first is relatively simple to explain, but it’s perhaps surprising it’s taken this long — Mac users will soon be able to use their iPhone’s rear camera as a webcam.

If you’re an owner of the latest 13-inch M2 MacBook Pro or the older M1 MacBook Air, this is a nice bonus since these devices are still rocking the 720p camera of yesterday. It’s worth noting that the new feature uses the rear camera, though, so don’t expect to use your best iPhone at the same time as you won’t be able to see the screen.

The second part of the new additions is a very impressive Desk View. As noted earlier, it’s a little buggy in the current beta, but it’ll essentially let users share what’s going on with their physical desk space.

This saves building entire camera mount setups and means you could theoretically teach the piano to someone remotely, or show your keyboard presses during an intense game or training tutorial.

Continuity Camera webcam requirements

To use the Continuity Camera webcam feature, you’ll need to be running iOS 16 on your iPhone, and macOS 13 Ventura on your Mac.

If you’re still using anything prior to the iPhone 7, though, you’re out of luck — you won’t get the iOS 16 update this year, and the same is the case with the first iPhone SE.

How to use the Continuity Camera webcam

How to use your iPhone as a webcam with Continuity Camera for macOS (4)

It’s worth noting that the Continuity Camera webcam API will be supported on both of Apple’s own apps and third-party options that use your webcam.

That means that you’ll be able to use it with Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype, and plenty more, just as easily as you can during FaceTime. It also works in web browsers, meaning if you use Chrome for Google Meets, you should have no issues.

It’s also incredibly easy to set up and use:

(Video) MacOS Ventura: Continuity Camera - Use your iPhone as a Webcam!

  1. Ensure your Mac and iPhone are both logged into the same Apple ID.
  2. Check that both WiFi and Bluetooth are switched on. They need to be activated on your Mac and iPhone.
  3. Open your video messaging platform of choice, and your phone should become your default camera. If it doesn’t, be sure to check the application isn’t still using your default Mac camera.

In our example here, we used Photo Booth. While the application still tries to connect to the MacBook Pro’s built-in camera, using the “Camera” section of the menu bar allows toggling to the iPhone 13 Pro Max.

If you’re having difficulties, the Continuity Camera webcam toggle can be found in iPhone settings under General, then AirPlay & Handoff.

It’s worth remembering that while Apple is working with manufacturers to produce stands and clips that can keep your iPhone steady while attached to your Mac or monitor, for the time being things can feel a little jerry-rigged unless you have a stable spot — don’t drop your iPhone!

How to use your iPhone as a webcam with Continuity Camera for macOS (5)

While you’re in a call, it’s possible to use Control Center to make tweaks to your camera output. Click the “Video Effects” option and you’ll find the option to switch on Center Stage (to keep you in focus), Portrait mode (to blur your background), or Studio Light. You can also access Desk View.

How to use the Continuity Camera Desk View

While the Desk View option can be found in Control Center, as we’ve mentioned before it’s a little undercooked and often crashes.

Still, while you can use Continuity Camera webcam in your other apps, Desk View curiously has its own application that, by default, isn’t easy to find.

It’s buried deep in the Library, but it’s findable using Spotlight, sitting alongside things like Screen Sharing, the DVD Player app (remember those?), and more. We'll have more on how to use Desk View when the feature stabilizes, but for now it's great to play with as an option for recording any desk-based activities you're working on. Using the camera's wide-angle capabilities to capture what's happening below where it's placed is convenient.

Handoff's noteworthy upgrade

When Handoff was first introduced in 2014, it was undoubtedly impressive. Apple users received the ability to transfer certain files and apps between their Macs and iPhones with ease. Whether it was opening up a Safari webpage on your Mac after viewing it on your phone or continuing to type a message on your best MacBook after beginning it on your iPhone, it was a significant feature.

Now, Handoff has been taken to the next level with Continuity Camera. Macs have never been known for their cameras, with the quality being oftentimes grainy, so with this new feature, a whole new world of possibilities has arrived. Stay tuned for more updates when the feature officially releases alongside iOS 16 and macOS Ventura in the fall!

How to use your iPhone as a webcam with Continuity Camera for macOS (7)

Lloyd Coombes


(Video) MacOS Ventura: Continuity Camera - Use your iPhone as a Webcam!

Lloyd Coombes is a freelance writer with a specialism in Apple tech. From his first, hand-me-down iMac, he’s been working with Apple products for over a decade, and while he loves his iPhone and Mac, the iPad will always have his heart for reasons he still can’t quite fathom.

Since moving from blogging to writing professionally, Lloyd’s work can be found at TechRadar, Macworld, TechAdvisor and plenty more.

He’s also the gaming editor of, and on the rare occasion he’s not writing you’ll find him spending time with his son, or working hard at the gym (while wearing an Apple Watch,naturally). You can find him on Twitter@lloydcoombes.

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(Video) How To Use Your iPhone As a Webcam For Your Mac (macOS Ventura/iOS 16)


Can you use iPhone camera as webcam for Mac? ›

With Continuity Camera, you can use your iPhone as your Mac webcam or microphone, and take advantage of the powerful iPhone camera and additional video effects. You can connect wirelessly, or with a USB cable for a wired connection. Note: To use Continuity Camera, sign in with the same Apple ID on your Mac and iPhone.

Which iphones will support continuity camera? ›

Continuity Camera
  • iPhone XR or later. (All iPhone models introduced in 2018 or later)
  • iPhone 11 or later for Centre Stage.
  • iPhone 11 or later (excluding iPhone SE) for Desk View.
  • iPhone 12 or later for Studio Light.
3 Nov 2022

How do I turn on continuity on my iPhone? ›

Finally, on your iPhone go to Settings > General > AirPlay & Handoff and make sure the switch next to Continuity Camera is turned On.

How do I use my external camera as a webcam Mac? ›

Choose an external camera on Mac
  1. Connect the camera to your Mac using the appropriate cable or wirelessly (depending on the camera).
  2. Open an app that captures video, then do one of the following: FaceTime: Click Video in the menu bar, then choose a camera. Photo Booth: Click Camera in the menu bar, then choose a camera.

How do you use continuity camera on Mac? ›

Open a supported app on your Mac. Take either of these actions: Control-click where you want the photo to be inserted in the app window. From the shortcut menu that appears, choose Insert from iPhone or iPad > Scan Documents.

How can I use my iPhone as a external camera? ›

Download the NeuralCam Live app on the iOS App Store (requires iOS 13 and up). Open the app and allow access to the camera and microphone. You need to download a plug-in on your Mac. In the phone app, you'll see an option to AirDrop the plug-in file to your Mac, or you can send it to yourself via email.

Does iPhone have continuous shooting? ›

If you have iPhone XS, iPhone XR, iPhone 11, or iPhone 12, slide the shutter button to the left. The camera will keep taking photos until you release the shutter button. If you have iPhone X or older, just hold down the shutter button to shoot in burst mode (you don't need to drag the button).

What is Apple continuity camera? ›

Use iPhone as a webcam.

Continuity Camera unlocks new capabilities like Desk View, which allows you to share a top-down view of your workspace, and Studio Light, which artfully lights your face while dimming the background.

Does continuity camera work on Macbook Air? ›

Continuity Camera is a new feature in ‌macOS Ventura‌ that allows users to use an iPhone as a webcam on their Mac. Continuity Camera works wirelessly or wired in FaceTime, Zoom, and other apps.

How can I use my iPhone and Mac together? ›

How to Connect iPhone to Mac Using Continuity
  1. Be signed into the same iCloud account on all devices.
  2. Have all devices connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
  3. Turn on Bluetooth on both devices.
  4. Turn on Handoff on both devices. ...
  5. On an iPhone, go to Settings > General > Handoff > move the Handoff slider to on/green.
19 Apr 2022

Why won't my Mac recognize my external camera? ›

Make sure the USB or USB-C cable is properly connected to your camera and the computer. If your computer has another USB port, try plugging the cable into it. Check your camera to make sure it's turned on and set to the correct mode for importing photos. See the instructions provided with your camera.

Do USB webcams work on Mac? ›

Like any USB webcam, the W1050 works automatically with Macs when connected via USB, but you will need Catalina (10.15.

Why isn't my external webcam working with my Mac? ›

Plug the webcam into a USB port after restarting the computer and reloading the operating system. Unplugging and replugging USB devices frequently resolves issues by causing the operating system to re-recognize and reload the device drivers or software.

Why is continuity not working on Mac? ›

Ensure you have Handoff enabled on your iOS devices

To check, go to Settings > General > AirPlay & Handoff, and make sure the Handoff switch is turned on. If after all these troubleshooting steps everything looks good, and Continuity still isn't working right, then the problem might be on your Mac's side.

What is continuity feature on Mac? ›

Continuity Markup lets you sign documents, correct papers or circle important details in images. Use your Apple Pencil on iPad or your finger on iPhone and see updates live on your Mac. And Continuity Sketch lets you create a sketch on your iPad or iPhone that automatically inserts into any document on your Mac.

How do I turn on my mirror camera on my Mac? ›

2. Hold down the "Command" and "Option" keys simultaneously and then click on the "System Preferences" icon in the dock. Continue holding down the two keys.

How can I use my iPhone as a USB webcam free? ›

Use your iPhone / iPad as a webcam with EpocCam
  1. Download and install EpocCam from the App Store. ...
  2. A set of desktop drivers for EpocCam is available for both Windows 10 and macOS (unlike with DroidCam). ...
  3. After you've installed the desktop drivers, you don't need to concern yourself with opening up an app on your computer.
31 Mar 2021

How can I use my phone camera as a webcam for USB? ›

For example, if you use Skype, go to Settings > Audio & Video > Select camera source. Connect your phone to your Windows laptop or PC with the USB cable. Go to your phone's Settings > Developer Options > Enable USB debugging. If you see a dialog box asking for 'Allow USB Debugging', click on OK.

Can an iPhone film for an hour? ›

1080p HD at 30 fps will yield approximately a 3 hour and 15 minutes long video. 1080p HD at 60 fps will make a 2-hour long video. 1080p HD in slow-motion at 120 fps will produce a 1 hour and 6 minutes long video. 1080p HD in slow-motion at 240 fps will yield a 24-minute-long video.

How long can you record on iPhone continuously? ›

12 hrs, 12 min.

What is loop on iPhone Camera? ›

Loop: Turn a Live Photo you love into a video loop. Choose an image yourself, or look in the For You tab to see photos that would make great loops. Bounce: Make your Live Photo rock back and forth. Watch your Live Photo as it happened, then it instantly plays in reverse.

Can MacBook use camera without light? ›

The FaceTime HD camera built into your Mac computer is designed with your privacy in mind and uses a camera indicator light that glows green when the camera is active. So you will always know when the camera is on. The camera is engineered so that it can't activate without the camera indicator light also turning on.

Can I film myself on my MacBook air? ›

In the Photo Booth app on your Mac, if you see the View Photo button or the View Video button , click it to see the Take Photo button or Record Video button . If the Record Video button isn't showing, at the bottom left, click the Record a movie clip button .

How do I use my MacBook as a PET camera? ›

How to get started with PetCam App:
  1. Choose your home station and activate it (e.g. your Mac or iPad)
  2. Activate your receiver on your mobile device that will stay with you.
  3. To watch your pet while you are not at home, tap “open video”

How do I connect my iPhone to my Mac without USB? ›

To pair your iPhone with a Mac, open the Settings app on iOS. Inside Settings, select Bluetooth. On the next screen, turn on the Bluetooth toggle at the top. You will now see a list of devices you connected to via Bluetooth recently.

Can you use Apple Loops? ›

You may use the Apple and third party audio loop content (Audio Content), contained in or otherwise included with the Apple Software, on a royalty-free basis, to create your own original music compositions or audio projects.

Is there a looping app? ›

When it comes to looper apps on Android, Loopify has replaced my previous pick, Loop Station, as my new favorite. The paid version is only $4 and comes with all the bells and whistles needed to use the app for live gigs.

Does Mac Have a webcam app? ›

Many Mac computers have a built-in FaceTime or FaceTime HD camera located near the top edge of the display. The camera automatically turns on when you open an app—such as FaceTime or Photo Booth—or use a feature—such as Markup or head pointer—that can use the camera.

What is the best webcam for a Mac? ›

The best MacBook webcams of 2021
  1. Razer Kiyo. The best MacBook webcam right now. ...
  2. eMeet C960. The best cheap webcam for Mac. ...
  3. Logitech StreamCam. The best webcam for MacBook Air. ...
  4. NexiGo N60. ...
  5. Logitech Brio Ultra HD Pro. ...
  6. NexiGo N680E. ...
  7. AVerMedia Live Streamer CAM 513. ...
  8. Logitech ConferenceCam Connect.
21 Oct 2022

Which Mac app uses webcam? ›

To see which apps have access to your camera and microphone, go to System Preferences > Security & Privacy and click the Privacy tab at the top. In the left panel, you'll see the usual suspects: Location Services, Contacts, Calendar, Reminders and Photos.

How can I use my phone camera as a webcam on Mac? ›

Turn on Continuity Camera on the iPhone

Open the Settings app on your iPhone and then tap General > AirPlay & Handoff, then flip the switch on for the Continuity Camera Webcam setting. Exit Settings. Mount the iPhone on top of the Mac's display using a holder or mount, or set it up using a tripod or some other method.

How can I use my phone camera as a webcam using USB Apple? ›

Use your iPhone / iPad as a webcam with EpocCam
  1. Download and install EpocCam from the App Store. ...
  2. A set of desktop drivers for EpocCam is available for both Windows 10 and macOS (unlike with DroidCam). ...
  3. After you've installed the desktop drivers, you don't need to concern yourself with opening up an app on your computer.
31 Mar 2021

Can I use my iPhone as a camera for Quicktime? ›

You can make a movie using the built-in camera on your Mac or using your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. When you make a movie, controls appear that allow you to start recording, control the volume, and choose recording options.

Can I use my phone as an external webcam? ›

You can connect your smartphone via Wi-Fi or USB, the latter of which will help preserve the battery life of your phone. If you're using an Android phone, you can run DroidCam in the background and use it as an IP webcam.

Can I use my phone camera as a webcam with USB? ›

Yes, you can easily connect your phone camera to your laptop wirelessly or over a USB connection. Go for any tool we have shared above and connect your phone's camera to the laptop. You will need webcam applications on your Android and enable USB debugging in your Android's Developer options.


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