Microsoft Phone Link could get support for ‘Phone as Webcam’ on Android

Microsoft is working on a new feature for Phone Link on Windows and the Link to Windows app on Android phones. This feature might allow you to use your Android phone as a webcam for your Windows computer, as revealed in an APK teardown and a report by Android Authority.

Notably, earlier this year, it was reported that Android could get native support for ‘Phone as Webcam’ soon. Currently, Phone Link and Link to Windows allow you to control your phone from your computer, enhancing synergy between Android and Windows.

In the latest version of Microsoft’s Link to Windows app (v1.23102.190.0), the code hints at a potential camera streaming feature. This suggests you might initiate a camera stream from your Android phone to your Windows computer, essentially using it as a webcam. Although the code doesn’t explicitly mention “webcam,” there are clues suggesting a connection to video calls.

Certain code strings indicate users could apply effects to the video stream, including an “auto-framing” feature. Error messages also warn about the phone getting too hot during camera use. Phone Link currently mirrors apps like camera and video conferencing apps from your phone to your computer screen. However, supported apps for this camera feed feature are not specified yet.

While the code doesn’t explicitly mention using the phone’s camera as a webcam, features like auto-framing strongly suggest this possibility. The release date for this feature is unknown, but there’s speculation it could arrive early next year, possibly coinciding with new Windows hardware featuring Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X Elite chip.