Usually, Android devices are the testbed for innovative smartphone features that Apple designers eventually improve upon and incorporate into their devices; but it seems that, for a change, Google wants to adopt a popular iOS 16 feature for an upcoming version of its OS.
At WWDC 2022 Apple unveiled an iOS 16 and macOS Ventura 13 update called Continuity Camera. Rather than relying on your Mac’s inbuilt webcam, you could instead use one of the best iPhones running the latest OS, and take advantage of its souped-up cameras, microphone, and video effects.
Third-party apps could allow the best Android phones to be used in a similar way, but according to Google Open Source Project changelogs (opens in new tab), it appears that a feature similar to Continuity Camera could become a baked-in feature for a future version of Android (via Mishaal Rahman on Twitter (opens in new tab)).
Currently named 'DeviceAsWebcam', it would (as you can probably guess from the name) turn “an android device into a webcam.” However, little else is known about the feature right now.
It does appear that it will allow for a wired USB connection – which suggests you won’t be limited to one computer OS, as is the case with Continuity Camera – though it’s unclear if Continuity Camera features like Desk View (which lets you see your desk and face at the same time), or Centre Stage and Studio Light (which keep you in the shot, and make you appear brighter than the background respectively) will appear in the Android iteration.
What’s more, there’s no guarantee we’ll see DeviceAsWebcam appear anytime soon. While it’s certainly possible that it will launch with Android 14, depending on how far into development the tool is, we could see it 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 big annual developer’s conference, which we expect will be in May – but be on the lookout for DeviceAsWebcam among the list of new tools headed to our Android smartphones.