Tired of looking like a pixelated drop in your Zoom calls? Why use this annoying, small, low-quality webcam embedded in your laptop when you have a really great smartphone in your pocket? These days it’s become very easy to use your smartphone as a webcam, and some options don’t even require you to connect anything. We’ve detailed how to do it whether you have an iPhone or Android, with Windows or Mac.
We also have instructions for using a professional camera or GoPro to do the same task. If you don’t want to worry about apps, check out our guide to the best webcams.
Updated July 2022: We’ve added compatibility with Android and the Camo Continuity Camera.
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How to make a video call only with your phone
Before you turn your smartphone into a webcam for your computer, the most obvious thing might be to try using your smartphone to organize a video call. Services like Zoom, Google Meet, and Microsoft Teams generally have Android and iPhone apps available. All you have to do is install the app, log in, and use your phone’s camera and selfie microphone to attend the meeting.
Whether you’re doing it or following our methods below, invest in a small tripod to support your phone and you won’t have to balance it with a stack of books. The Joby GripTight is a popular and affordable tripod with legs that can be contorted to stay stable on almost any surface, although a height-adjustable tripod like this might be a better choice. The Lume Cube Mobile Creator Lighting Kit is also a great way to brighten up your face.
Ways to use your phone as a webcam
You can use a video conferencing app on your phone if you only need to sit in a meeting and do it occasionally, but you’ll need a better system if you’re presenting and need to share your screen. This is where it might help to turn your smartphone into a webcam.
General advice: Make sure your favorite video conferencing application is closed when you install a webcam client on your desktop or laptop computer. You may need to restart the application or restart your computer for everything to work.
How to use any phone as a webcam for Mac or Windows
The solution that works no matter if you have an iPhone, Android, Mac or Windows, in any combination, is a service called Reincubate Camo. It supports more than 40 video calling applications, from Google Meet and Zoom to FaceTime and Discord. The following steps will work if you are trying to connect an Android to a Mac, an iPhone to a Windows PC, or vice versa.