Apple’s presentation at the WWDC developer conference gave us a lot of software announcements, including the expansion of the so-called “Continuity”. This system of interaction between different Apple devices has long allowed you to switch between them for basic tasks, such as starting to write an e-mail on a Mac and ending on an iPhone. With the release of iOS 16 and macOS Ventura “continuity” capabilities will be enhanced by the Continuity Camera feature.
As we all know, for several years the pandemics have created a great demand for group video calls, be it a meeting, distance learning or a job interview. The webcam in the laptop, which users could easily ignore and call optional, has become one of the most important features. Today, even a gaming laptop without a webcam is perceived as strange, although a couple of years ago there were plenty of such models, because gaming streamers still used external solutions due to higher image quality.
With Continuity Camera, Apple will try to reduce the number of customers of the manufacturers of individual webcams, because there are many Mac users who have an iPhone, and each of them will be able to use their smartphone as a webcam. Even the most affordable iPhone SE with a 12-megapixel main module will provide higher image quality for video calls. In addition, Apple plans to refine the software and implement in this mode the background blur, highlight the person in the frame and track its movement in iPhone models with a wide-angle camera.
All in all, this is a great idea that very clearly falls the category of people who do not need the highest quality webcam all the time, so there is no need to buy an external solution. For example, better video call quality may be needed during an interview, job interview, business “meeting” or exam, while a quick meeting with colleagues or a call to family can take place even without video, they have already seen you.
Continuity Camera will be available from the iPhone Xr to the latest models of Apple smartphones. It is still difficult to say which mounting options will be offered by accessories manufacturers for models without MagSafe magnets, but Apple itself has already announced that it is working on such mounts with Belkin. The only problem the price can be on a level of a good external webcam. However, without a doubt, cheaper analogues will soon appear on the market.
I hope that Microsoft and Google will be able to implement similar functionality in Android and Windows.