Webcams experienced a sudden boom in recent years due to the COVID -19 pandemic as, with schools and universities embracing remote education and companies opting for teleworking.
This peripheral became the main instrument to maintain conferences or direct communication through programs such as Zoom or Meet .
Of course, in the absence of a webcam , it was possible to use a cell phone by installing a third-party application to be able to connect the equipment to the PC or laptop. However, as happened with Apple and its Continuity Camera , it seems that Google wants this useful function to come by default in its mobile operating system and that is why traces of it coming to Android in a future update have already been found.
Using your cell phone as a webcam will be even easier
According to what Mishaal Rahman , editor of Esper and leaker of the news that will come to Android , points out, Google is already working to add support to the operating system that allows it to function as a webcam by simply connecting the mobile to the PC further. Although it already allows you to connect a USB webcam to use it with your cell phone, this option seeks to make connecting the device to the computer the only thing necessary for it to function as this peripheral.
Exploring the Android source code , Rahman discovered some lines that anticipate the arrival of this long-awaited function in the operating system. As we mentioned before, Google ‘s objective with this is that users no longer depend on installing a third-party application on their mobile to be able to use their smartphone as a webcam.
Using an Android phone as a webcam became really popular during the pandemic, but you’ve typically had to install a third-party app to do so. You may not have to do this in the future, though, as Google is adding support for turning Android devices into USB webcams!
— Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) February 2, 2023
How will it work and when will this Android novelty arrive?
In order to activate our smartphone as if it were a webcam on our computer, we will have to connect it via a USB cable . Then, we will find a new option among the different actions that appear in the “connected by USB” section on our cell phone.
Therefore, in addition to the options “transfer files”, “share USB connection” and “use the device as MIDI or PTP” then one more will be added so that the mobile device becomes a webcam. At the moment, the date for the arrival of the function is still unknown, but the insider expects that it will arrive with the release of Android 14 , the next version of the operating system that will be released in the coming months.