This Windows app could turn your Android smartphone into a webcam

One of the biggest selling points of the Apple ecosystem is how seamlessly all the devices work together. For example the iPhone can be used as a webcam for the Mac. Microsoft’s Phone Link is a functional equivalent for Android, which allows users to control their phone from their computer.

And if we are to believe certain clues, this Windows-Android synergy could soon benefit from an important update: the possibility of seeing the camera of your phone on your computer, like Apple.

This feature was first spotted by Android Authority, which dove into the code of the latest version of Microsoft’s “Link to Windows” app. This app contains new code that suggests PC users will soon be able to use their smartphone as a webcam.

The code also mentions Zoom-like video effects

Although Phone Link can already access the phone’s camera to some extent and make video calls, the current functionality only mirrors the apps running on the phone. The new code appears to be a completely independent process.

Phrases like “Tap this notification to let your PC stream video from your camera” appear in the new code, as do “Pause video”, “Resume video”, “Switch back” and ” Rock forward.”

The code also mentions Zoom-like video effects: auto-framing, blur, face retouch, and soft focus. The coding doesn’t specifically mention “webcam” anywhere, but the filters and framing options make it clear that video with people is the intended use.

With the Galaxy S24?

The upcoming Phone Link features appear similar to Apple’s Continuity, where users can access an iPhone’s camera through a Mac for video calls.

However, it is possible that these features are limited to certain devices, because only recent high-end smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy and the OnePlus 11 integrate the Link to Windows function.

Microsoft hasn’t released anything officially, so there’s no timetable available for an announcement. But in previous years, new features for Phone Link were announced alongside Samsung phones. With the Galaxy S24 scheduled to launch in February 2024, there’s a good chance something official will be announced before then.

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