Link to Windows could soon let you use your phone camera as a webcam

  • Microsoft Link to Windows could be getting a phone camera streaming function as code within the Android app suggests.
  • While webcam isn’t explicitly mentioned, several features point to a camera stream via the Link to Windows app.
  • There are also warnings about thermal limits being reached in the app’s code suggesting the feature would be resource hungry.

When COVID-19 started spreading across the world, governments decided to ask citizens to restrict their contact with other people and this saw businesses adopting remote work rapidly.

In the wake of this, video conferencing platforms grew quickly and as a result, finding a webcam became a near-impossible task. As such, many turned to applications that allowed them to turn their smartphone into a webcam. There are a multitude of apps, both free and paid that allow you to do this. Apple supports this functionality natively with an iPhone and Mac but Windows users have had to make use of third-party apps.

That could change soon however as reported by Android Authority. The publication has spotted some code in the Microsoft Link to Windows app for Android that suggests users may eventually be able to stream their smartphone’s camera to their PC.

Microsoft Link for Windows currently allows users to access their messages, take and make calls, browse their photo gallery, read notifications and access certain apps. Being able to access apps can be convenient but it also proves to be a tad frustrating at times.

The publication notes that the code doesn’t explicitly mention a webcam but highlights features such as Auto-framing Effects, which heavily imply that this feature is for video conferencing. There are also reportedly warnings in the code that would advise a user that their smartphone is too warm and it needs to be cooled to launch and stream the camera feed. This suggests that streaming your camera feed could be incredibly resource-intensive and we wonder how heavily it will drain a handset’s battery.

Of course, this is all speculation at this point and the feature may never make its way to the release build of Link to Windows.

In all honesty, we’d love to see Microsoft working to improve Link to Windows as a whole rather than adding new features we don’t really need at this point. In our experience with the app, our handset tends to warm up very quickly and moving through apps too fast can cause Link tor Windows to crash. It may be useful but it can also be a mighty frustrating experience and it’s not nearly on par with Apple’s ecosystem.

Microsoft hasn’t said that a camera feed feature is coming to the app but it is something that makes sense, even if video conferencing isn’t nearly as popular as it was two years ago.


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