With macOS 13, Apple introduces the option of using the iPhone camera as a webcam. Matching accessories now also come from Austria.
With macOS 13 aka Ventura, a useful new function is coming to the Mac: Using Continuity Camera, an existing iPhone can be connected to the computer in the future without additional software and the cameras on it can be used as webcams, which results in significantly better images with FaceTime, Zoom, Teams & Co . promises. To do this, however, you must first mount the iPhone on the Mac. Apple is working with the accessories specialist Belkin for this, but their brackets will probably not be cheap. An Austrian company is now working on an alternative.
keep using iPhone
The so-called Elephant Card is to be launched shortly and distributed via Amazon in Germany and the USA. Manufacturer TeamNobile from Vienna wants to sell the small, blue hardware, the imprint of which is reminiscent of an elephant, for ten euros. For the Belkin products – a version for MacBooks and one for (Apple) screens is expected – there is no price yet, but it is conceivable that this will be around 20 euros.
The Elephant Card is much simpler than the competition. Belkin uses Apple’s MagSafe magnet technology to connect the mount to the iPhone, which in turn attaches to a Mac or monitor. That alone is more expensive due to the necessary permanent magnets and metal chassis. The Elephant Card, on the other hand, is made of durable plastic that uses a folding mechanism. When folded, it’s about the size of a credit card and fits in a wallet.
Plastic instead of magnet
When folded out, the Elephant Card forms a total of two hooks at the front, which are used to attach it to the MacBook – the hardware is apparently not suitable for thicker monitors. There are then two more hooks on the back, which form a tab into which the iPhone is inserted so that the rear camera faces the user. The simpler mechanics, including the unnecessary MagSafe, have the advantage that you can also attach other iPhones. Tested down to iPhone 8, Macs supported are MacBook and MacBook Pro from 2017, MacBook Air from 2018.
If you want to save the 10 euros for the Elephant Card (or more for the Belkin solution), you can also use your 3D printer and fabricate your own solution. Corresponding files are available in different forms for free download at GitHub. There is still a little time: macOS 13 aka Ventura is not expected until October, it could be ready by the middle of the month. That’s what Continuity Camera works with.