Right now, there’s no need to use one of the best webcams to record yourself in video calls and meetings, as there are plenty of third-party apps that let you use your phone as a webcam. Even Apple has got in on the act with its Continuity Camera system, and it now seems that Microsoft also wants a slice of the pie.
According to Android Authority, Microsoft is working on adding this functionality to its Phone Link app that helps connect Android phones to Windows. That could be a major boost to anyone who doesn’t want to spend money on a webcam when they already have excellent cameras built into their smartphone.
Android Authority claims that code in the 1.23102.190.0 version of the Phone Link app gives the game away. The outlet has spotted code strings that reference setting up a camera stream on your computer, with controls allowing you to switch to the front or back cameras, enable Do Not Disturb, and more.
As well as that, there look to be a raft of video effects that you might be able to apply, ranging from HDR and night modes to soft focus, image stabilization, face retouching, and more. There’s also an 'auto-framing' feature that sounds similar to Apple’s Center Stage.
Plenty of competition
Phone Link can already access your camera, but in its current state this just mirrors video-calling apps on your phone. The new code, on the other hand, suggests that Microsoft is working to bring video-conferencing functionality into Phone Link itself.
It’s not known which devices this feature will be available on, but Android Authority speculates that it could end up being limited to products that include Phone Link as a system app. That would include a number of the best Samsung Galaxy phones, as well as the OnePlus 11 running Android 14, for example.
When – or if – this feature does launch, it’ll face some stiff competition. For instance, the Camo app is a superb tool for using your phone as a webcam, and contains a ton of fine-grained control for perfecting your videos. Microsoft will need to work hard to overcome that challenge.
Stepping back for a moment, there’s no guarantee that this feature will eventually make it into Phone Link. It could be that Microsoft is simply experimenting with it, and might scrap the feature before launch. Time will tell, but if Microsoft can do what Apple has done with Continuity Camera it could be a great addition for Windows and Android users.