Windows 11 borrowing Apple’s ‘iPhone as a webcam’ feature for Android

Redmond, start your photocopiers! After recently innovating Windows with center-aligned, bottom-docked apps, Microsoft is catching up with macOS in a more useful way. Tom Warren at The Verge reports that Windows 11 is gaining the ability to use a phone as a webcam. 

Apple expanded its Continuity Camera feature to let iPhone cameras replace Mac webcams in 2022. The feature is genuinely useful for achieving higher fidelity during video calls.

Microsoft’s version will require an Android phone running Android 9 or newer, Warren reports:

The Phone Link system in Windows 11 will now include the ability to access recent photos or to use your phone as a webcam on video conferencing apps. The feature is rolling out starting today for Windows Insiders to test, using devices running Android 9 or higher, and a Link to Windows app that is version 1.24012* or higher. To turn it on, look under the settings menu for Bluetooth and mobile devices, select manage devices, and enable your PC to access your Android phone.

At this rate, Windows 11 should have Apple’s awkward AR reactions feature nailed down by 2026. Anyway, great news if you have to use Windows!

The feature also supports Android tablets, and Microsoft’s version has a few additional tweaks like “being able to switch between front and back camera, pausing the stream during interruptions, and enjoying effects provided by your mobile mode,” per their blog post

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