The Android 14 QPR1 Beta 1 update released for Pixel devices on Wednesday enables an upcoming Android feature to use your phone as a webcam. The new webcam capability does not rely on third-party apps or software and instead requires physically connecting the phone to a laptop or desktop computer via a USB cable (seen through XDA Developers).
The feature is located in the “Charge this device via USB” option that appears in the notification tray after connecting the phone. Switching to the new “Webcam” option within the “Use USB for” section will provide on-screen instructions for setting up webcam video streaming, with options to zoom in/out and switch between the front and rear cameras of the device. device.
The new webcam feature is currently Compatible with all Pixel devices able to run beta update except Pixel Fold. Android beta updates typically roll out first on Pixel devices, so it’s likely that the webcam feature will eventually be available on Android phones from other brands when Android 14 is released to general availability.
There have been some third party apps like EpocCam and DroidCam available for a while that makes it easy to use your Android phone as a webcam, but this will be the first feature built natively into the Android platform. Modern phone cameras tend to be much better than traditional webcams, especially those built into laptops, so this should provide a quick (and free) way to upgrade the quality of your streams or streams. video during meetings when Android 14 is released. October.
The need for a wired connection is a bit disappointing, considering that Apple’s Continuity Camera, which replaces the iPhone’s webcam when taking calls on a MacBook, is completely wireless. But because Android’s webcam feature is based on the USB Video Class (UVC) standard, it should work on all systems without restrictions, including Windows, Chromebook, Linux, and Mac.