Your laptop computer’s built-in webcam doesn’t maintain a candle to the very best Android telephones on the market in terms of video high quality, which is why many individuals use their Android cellphone as a webcam for his or her PC. The one drawback with this strategy is that it’s not as handy to arrange, which is why most individuals accept exterior webcams which might be often plug-and-play. That’s why we had been initially excited to see that Google is bringing native webcam performance to Pixel telephones with an upcoming Android 14 replace. Nevertheless, after truly making an attempt it out for ourselves, our pleasure has waned. 

These of you who’re operating Android 14 in your Pixel cellphone could be a bit confused as a result of this native webcam performance is nowhere to be discovered. That’s as a result of it’s solely included in the Android 14 QPR beta releases proper now. The way in which this characteristic works underneath the hood is quite complicated, however all you really want to know is that it turns your Android cellphone into a normal USB webcam that almost all PCs operating Home windows, macOS, or Linux will acknowledge. All it’s a must to do is join your cellphone to your PC by way of USB, pull down the notifications panel in your cellphone, open the USB preferences web page, after which change the USB mode to “Webcam.” 

Webcam info when utilizing a Pixel 8 Professional as a USB webcam by way of Android 14’s webcam characteristic.  (Picture credit score: Mishaal Rahman / Android Central)

You don’t have to tinker with any settings or set up any extra software program in your cellphone or PC; your cellphone will simply seem as an “Android Webcam” in video conferencing software program like Google Meet or Zoom. Android 14 does supply a preview of the video feed, allow you to alter the zoom stage, and alter which digicam lens is used, however you don’t get any of the myriad of controls supplied by third-party webcam software program like Camo.

Utilizing a OnePlus 9 5G as a webcam for a Macbook by way of Reincubate Camo. (Picture credit score: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central)

I don’t assume there’s something incorrect with Google maintaining Android 14’s webcam characteristic easy, as a result of most Android phone cameras can deal with typical house workplace lighting situations simply tremendous. However there does appear to be one thing incorrect with the way in which Google arrange the characteristic within the first place, as a result of for some cause, the video high quality is considerably worse than what it could possibly be.