If you haven’t upgraded to Mac OS Ventura yet, here’s a good reason to do so: the continuity camera. This is a feature that allows you to use your iPhone as a remote webcam for FaceTime calls, simply by holding it up to the screen.
The built-in cameras on MacBook Pro models have gotten a little better in recent years, but they’re still nothing compared to the power of the rear cameras on the iPhone. And since you probably have your phone handy while you’re FaceTiming, it makes sense to use it.
Of course, holding the phone in your hand isn’t ideal, so Belkin has released a rather nifty little device that mounts the iPhone to the top of your screen and comes in handy the rest of the time too. The iPhone Holder with MagSafe for Mac notebooks may not be the most snappy name, but it easily clips onto the back of your phone using the magnetic MagSafe connection. It features a metal stand that can be used to prop up your phone for easy TV or movie watching.
The kickstand also has a large ring hole in it so you can also use it to help you hold the phone better. Something that is actually very useful with the larger iPhone 14 Pro Max or iPhone 14 Plus.
I tried the Belkin holder on my iPhone 14 Pro Max this week. It sticks to the phone very well even with a case in between, although you can also easily turn it to position the stand or find a comfortable position to put your finger through.
With FaceTime Open on my MacBook Pro, I just held my phone close to my screen and it found my iPhone camera and immediately switched to it. After you pair it for the first time, you can find your iPhone camera in the camera list (in the video menu).
I expected the phone to feel too heavy on top of the screen, but the way the holder sits on it means the weight is evenly distributed and the screen doesn’t move. you can even place the phone vertically if you want the weight to be lower but I didn’t feel it was necessary.
The phone calls look so much better. I don’t think I can go back to my old MacBook camera now. The only minor issue I had was that while the phone holder will sit on top of my laptop, it won’t sit on my external monitor. Hopefully a larger clip will become available so you can put your phone on other monitors or even a TV.
The Belkin mount is now available in the Apple Store and costs £29.95 / $29.95 / AU$44.95