Continuity Camera was one of the odder additions that arrived in the last round of Apple operating system updates. It seemed like an awkward fix to a longstanding issue with Mac webcams, clipping your iPhone to the top of your laptop lid, but I’ve come to appreciate it in my recent travels.
Today, Belkin announced the availability of the first official Continuity Camera solution, the memorably named Belkin iPhone Mount with MagSafe. This was the accessory Apple teased all the way back at WWDC this summer. It’s effectively a silicone circle with MagSafe magnets in the rear.
It snaps onto the back of the iPhone, and the small retractable lip goes over the top of the screen. It’s intended to be used with the rear-facing cameras facing toward you — in fact, without that in place, you may have trouble firing up the feature at all.
That big metal ring that looks like a soda can pop-top, on the other hand, isn’t actually connected to the feature. Instead, it’s intended for the rest of the time. The idea is you can keep it on the back of the phone and stick your finger through the loop for a better grip. The magnet certainly seems strong enough.
There are two versions of the accessory, including a larger one designed specifically for desktops — that one is currently listed as “coming soon.” The difference owes to the thickness of the larger displays. Unfortunately that means you won’t be able to use the models interchangeably.
Belkin sent me a demo unit around the time of my first macOS Ventura write-up and the final model arrived just as I was leaving for Disrupt, so I plan to put it through its paces this week with all of the conference calls I’m going to have to jump on in the greenroom (sorry everyone else).
The iPhone 14 Pro’s camera beats the latest Mac Air’s by a mile. Honestly, it isn’t even close. Obviously, best case scenario is just better webcams built into the systems themselves, but this certainly works in a pinch, especially when on the road.
My biggest issue at the moment has less to do with the accessory than the implementation of Continuity Camera. Specifically, the iPhone 14 Pro is heavy — and the Pro Plus even more so. The new MacBook Air’s hinge, meanwhile, doesn’t appear to have been specifically developed with this capability in mind. That means that, unless the lid is at or near a 90-degree angle, the screen has a tendency to start lowering under the weight.
Something to keep in mind.