The Android 14 QPR1 Beta 1 replace launched for Pixel units on Wednesday permits an upcoming Android function to make use of your telephone as a webcam. The brand new webcam functionality doesn’t depend on third-party apps or software program and as a substitute requires bodily connecting the telephone to a laptop computer or desktop pc by way of a USB cable (seen by way of XDA-Builders).
The function is situated within the “Charging this system by way of USB” choice that seems within the notification tray after the telephone is related. Swapping to the brand new “Webcam” choice inside the “Use USB for” part will then present on-screen directions to configure the webcam video feed, with choices to zoom in / out and change between the system’s entrance and rear cameras.
The brand new webcam function is at present supported on all the Pixel units able to working the beta replace besides the Pixel Fold. Android beta updates are sometimes first launched to Pixel units, so it’s possible that the webcam function will ultimately be out there throughout Android telephones from different manufacturers when Android 14 is launched to basic availability.
There have been some third-party apps like EpocCam and DroidCam out there for some time now that facilitate utilizing your Android telephone as a webcam, however this would be the first function that’s natively constructed into the Android platform. Cameras on trendy telephones are typically much better than conventional webcams, particularly these which are constructed into laptops, so this could present a fast (and free) approach to improve the standard of your streams or video feeds throughout conferences when Android 14 is launched in October.
The necessity for a cabled connection is a bit of disappointing, contemplating Apple’s Continuity Digital camera — which substitutes an iPhone’s digicam for the webcam when taking calls on a MacBook — is totally wi-fi. However as a result of Android’s webcam function is constructed on the USB Video Class (UVC) customary, it ought to work throughout all methods with none restrictions — together with Home windows, Chromebook, Linux, and Mac.