Got an Android phone? Microsoft might let you use it as a webcam

Samsung Galaxy S23
(Image credit: Onur Binay / Unsplash)

Android Authority has spotted code in Microsoft’s Link to Windows app for Android (specifically v1.23102.190.0) which suggests support for using compatible smartphones as a webcam for Windows devices may soon be added.

The code specifically refers to live video stream support, but given Apple’s recent decision to allow Macs to use iPhone cameras as webcams, it would make sense for Windows and Android to follow in Cupertinio’s footsteps.

Smartphone cameras offer far better quality than built-in webcams, and virtually all consumers and workers already have a smartphone, which would eliminate the need for them to buy dedicated webcams.

Use Android smartphone as webcam for Windows

Android Authority highlights that the app does not explicitly mention a smartphone’s use as a webcam, however there would be little other reason to support live video stream.

Link to Windows has received several improvements recently to help connect Android users with their Windows computers more effectively – something that Apple has been doing successfully for many years.

Other bits of code indicate the presence of auto-framing and face retouching. On the surface, the features look to align with those offered by Apple’s latest hardware, including Center Stage, which tracks a speaker using the Ultra Wide camera.

No mention was found of any supported apps, however it’s likely that at least a handful of popular video conferencing platforms will be supported. Apple’s Continuity Camera – the name it gives for using an iPhone as a webcam – isn’t restricted to just FaceTime. Rather, it works on other platforms, too, including Teams.

Microsoft said that it had nothing more to share at the moment beyond existing literature about its app, so for now, Android users will have to play the waiting game.

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Craig Hale

With several years’ experience freelancing in tech and automotive circles, Craig’s specific interests lie in technology that is designed to better our lives, including AI and ML, productivity aids, and smart fitness. He is also passionate about cars and the decarbonisation of personal transportation. As an avid bargain-hunter, you can be sure that any deal Craig finds is top value!