Android 14 Beta Unleashes Webcam Power: Use Your Phone As A Webcam

 

A native feature that enables users to utilize their Android phones as cameras when connected to a laptop or desktop PC will be included in Google’s upcoming Android 14. The Android 14 QPR1 Beta 1 update, which has been made available for Pixel devices, includes the additional functionality. This built-in webcam feature necessitates a physical USB cable connection between the Android phone and the computer, unlike third-party apps.

After connecting the phone, users can use the feature by selecting the “Charging this device via USB” option in the notification tray. Users can choose the “Webcam” option under the “Use USB for” section to launch on-screen instructions for setting up the webcam video stream. The choices include switching between the phone’s front and back cameras and enlarging or decreasing the zoom.

This native webcam capability, which is now accessible for Pixel devices running the Android 14 beta version, with the exception of the Pixel Fold, makes use of the better camera quality present in contemporary smartphones as opposed to classic built-in webcams on computers. While third-party applications like EpocCam and DroidCam give a comparable level of capability, Android 14’s built-in solution offers a simple and cost-free substitute.

It’s important to note that the webcam function requires a cabled connection, so a USB cable is needed to connect the Android phone to the PC. In contrast, Apple’s Continuity Camera provides a wireless alternative by leveraging the camera of an iPhone to make video calls on a MacBook.

Android’s webcam capability complies with the USB Video Class (UVC) standard despite the wired connection requirement, guaranteeing compatibility with a variety of operating systems, including Windows, Chromebooks, Linux, and Mac. It is expected that this native webcam feature will be made accessible on Android smartphones from manufacturers other than Pixel when the Android 14 version moves from beta to generally available. It’s projected that Android 14 will launch in October 2023.

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