Usually, Android devices are a testing ground for innovative smartphone features that Apple designers eventually improve and incorporate into their devices; but it looks like Google, for a change, wants to adopt a popular iOS 16 feature for the upcoming version of its operating system.
At WWDC 2022, Apple unveiled an update to iOS 16 and macOS Ventura 13 called Continuity Camera. Instead of relying on your Mac’s built-in webcam, you can instead use one of the best iPhones with the latest operating system and take advantage of its improved cameras, microphone and video effects.
Third-party apps can let you use the best Android phones in a similar way but in accordance with Google Open Source project changelogs (opens in a new tab)looks like a feature like Continuity Camera may become a built-in feature in a future version of Android (via Mishaal Rahman at Twitter (opens in a new tab)).
The current name “DeviceAsWebcam” (as you might guess from the name) would turn your “Android device into a webcam”. However, little else is currently known about this feature.
It looks like it will allow for a wired USB connection – suggesting you won’t be limited to one computer operating system as you are with the Continuity Camera – though it’s not clear if the Continuity Camera offers features such as desktop view ( which allows you to see the desk and your face at the same time) or Center Stage and Studio Light (which keep you in the frame and make you appear brighter than the background respectively) will come in the Android iteration.
Moreover, there is no guarantee that DeviceAsWebcam will be coming anytime soon. While it’s certainly possible it will launch with Android 14, depending on how far in development the tool is, we could see it being delayed until Android 15, which is at least a year away, or even Android 16.
We’ll have to wait and see what Google announces at Google I/O 2023 – it’s a big annual developer conference we expect to take place in May – but keep an eye out for DeviceAsWebcam in the list of new tools heading to our Android smartphones.