From Android 14, your smartphone can serve as a webcam. Google has now enabled the feature on a beta version for Pixel phones.
More specifically, this concerns the Android 14 QPR1 Beta 1. In such betas, features are tested that will later become available as Pixel Feature Drop. Still, this doesn’t mean the feature is exclusive to Pixel phones. The code for the built-in webcam function is part of AOSP: the basis of the Android operating system. Manufacturers will probably have to enable the function themselves first. Google is now the first to take that step in the aforementioned beta version.
How Pixel users can activate the feature? That’s quite simple: they just need to connect their smartphone to a computer with a USB cable and select the ‘webcam’ option in the USB settings. The smartphone is then detected as a device that can transmit video signals. You can now set your smartphone as a webcam via apps such as Microsoft Teams and Google Meet. In addition to images, your Pixel smartphone also provides audio through its microphones.
Google Pixels get ‘Repair mode’ with Android 14
This works on all operating systems. So you are not tied to Windows or ChromeOS. Google uses the USB Video Class standard (UVC), which works on any operating system. Even on a Mac you can start using an Android smartphone as a webcam.
No wireless option
iPhone users won’t be particularly surprised by a webcam function. They have been able to use their iPhone as a wireless webcam for Macs via Continuity Camera for some time now. Unfortunately, that function only works with macOS. iPhones cannot be used wired as a webcam. Something that can be done with (almost) every Android smartphone from Android 14 onwards.
Rollout webcam function
It was previously announced that Google was developing the webcam function. It was uncertain whether it would be possible to release this with Android 14. That seems to be the case now. However, it is now at least as uncertain when Android 14 will be revealed. The unveiling usually takes place before the end of September. Now the search giant seems to be pushing the launch over the threshold of October.
The launch will probably take place on October 4, when Google also releases the new Pixel phones. The webcam option should also be immediately available on that date.