Android telephones get PC webcam capabilities within the newest beta

The Pixel 7 Pro camera layout. Between the first two lenses, you can make out sensors for laser autofocus and a color sensor.

Enlarge / The Pixel 7 Professional digicam structure. Between the primary two lenses, you may make out sensors for laser autofocus and a coloration sensor.

This is a enjoyable new use on your Android cellphone: A PC webcam! Within the newest Android beta, plugging a cellphone right into a PC will reveal a brand new choice within the USB Preferences menu for webcam performance. Simply choose that choice as a substitute of the default “file switch,” and the cellphone digicam will register itself as a webcam. Then you may fireplace up Zoom and begin video calling.

The Android construct with this function is “Android 14 QPR1 Beta 1.” Android’s getting complicated with all these overlapping betas, however the present steady model remains to be Android 13. Android 14, at the moment on its 10th beta/developer preview, will most certainly be out alongside the Pixel eight in October. Android 14 QPR1 is the quarterly launch after the primary steady construct of Android 14, and it ought to be out round December. (QPR stands for quarterly platform launch.) These occur between main releases, typically marketed as “function drops.” Proper now, Android 13 is technically “Android 13 QPR3.”

Android's 14 QPR1's webcam settings.

Android’s 14 QPR1’s webcam settings. (credit score: Ron Amadeo)

Android is technically copying this function from iOS. In Apple land, that is known as the “Continuity Digital camera,” and can work wirelessly between an iPhone and a Mac, which is fairly cool. As ordinary, the Android model is far more versatile because the function presents as a generic USB webcam. It ought to work on virtually every part, like Home windows, Mac, Chrome OS, and possibly Linux. You’ll be able to even plug an Android cellphone into one other Android cellphone and use the primary cellphone’s digicam because the webcam for the second cellphone.

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