One of the most glaring faults of Apple’s laptop line is the built-in webcams. Apple looks to finally be moving to 1080 with the newest iMac and its FaceTime HD camera, but that doesn’t help anyone with a current Mac. We’ve all spent way too much time over the past 14 months in Zoom meetings, so in hindsight, it would have been great to see Apple upgrade the built-in FaceTime cameras years ago, but they didn’t. In its absence, many people have taken to upgrading to an external option like the Logitech StreamCam and Papalook PA930. What if there was another option that you likely already own? Let’s look at Camo, an app to use your iPhone as your Mac webcam.
About Apple @ Work: Bradley Chambers has been managing an enterprise IT network since 2009. Through his experience deploying and managing firewalls, switches, a mobile device management system, enterprise-grade Wi-Fi, 100s of Macs, and 100s of iPads, Bradley will highlight ways in which Apple IT managers deploy Apple devices, build networks to support them, train users, stories from the trenches of IT management, and ways Apple could improve its products for IT departments.
Ironically, one of the single most prominent selling features of the iPhone every year (camera) is the part of the Mac laptop lineup that Apple has neglected for so long. Apple used to be at the forefront of camera technology, having released the original iSight camera in 2003. I owned this camera, and while I didn’t have near as many opportunities to use it then as I do now, it was a great camera in its day, though. With the current M1 MacBook Air, Apple improved the camera slightly over the previous model, but it’s not near what it should be.
You can easily pair it with the ESR MagSafe charger and flip it around for easy charging or use something like the HoverBar Duo from Twelve South to get your iPhone at the right height for a video call.
Camo works with all your favorite Zoom, Meet, Teams, Skype, Spike Video, Slack, Google Chrome, Cisco Webex Teams, and many others. Camo includes hardware and software controls to adjust lighting, colors, zoom, crop, and focus, and you can easily preview your video ahead of time even if your video software doesn’t support it by launching the Camo app for Mac.
As people start traveling again, video calls likely aren’t going to stop any time soon, so it’s an easy way to have a high-quality webcam on the road, even if you have a dedicated setup at home.
Camo is free to use, and a Pro upgrade is $39.99/year or $79.99 for a lifetime license. With the Pro upgrade, you’ll unlock all features (higher resolution, advanced tweaks, rotate video, and more), remove the watermark, and you can use it on up to two computers on a single license.
Camo is one of those apps that’s so simple. It’s surprising that it’s not built right into iOS and macOS. Camo offers many features that make it well worth the price of admission if you’re using it in a business setting. Setup is relatively easy, and you’ll have your webcam setup upgraded in minutes. Be sure to upgrade your microphone while you’re at it as well.
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