How to Use Continuity Camera on iOS and OS X.
I recently wrote a post on how to copy and paste content across different Apple devices using Handoff and Universal Clipboard. Continuity also includes many other cool features, one of which is the Continuity Camera.
This is a new feature and is only available on iOS 12 and OS X Mojave devices. Basically, it allows you to open a supported app on your desktop (like Pages, Notes, TextEdit, etc.) and import a live image using a camera app or scan a document using your phone.
In this post, I will go over the requirements for setting up a continuity camera and show you how to use it.
Continuity requirements for the camera
Typically, you need to use iOS 12 or later and Mac OS X Mojave or later. Therefore, if you can install any of these operating systems on your device, it will support this feature.
Next, you need to enable several features.
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth must be enabled on both devices. You also need to make sure the devices are using the same iCloud account. Also, it looks like you need to enable 2FA for this to work. Since I already had it turned on, I could not check it.
Finally, you can currently only do this in certain applications on OS X:
These apps include Finder, Keynote, Pages, Numbers, Mail, Messages, Notes, and TextEdit. Other apps may support this feature in future releases, but this is a list for now.
It’s also worth noting that you don’t need to enable Handoff for this feature to work. Transfer is required for the universal clipboard, but not for the Continuity camera.
Insert photos into Mojave directly from iPhone
To get started, open one of the supported apps on your Mac. For my tests, I used the Notes app. At the point where you want to insert a photo or scanned document, press CTRL and then right-click.
In the context menu, you will see an option with a title, the name of which depends on your phone model. You will be able to choose “Take Photo” or “Scan Documents”. Alternatively, you can also just go to the File menu and from there you will get the same options.
On your phone, it should automatically open the camera app, ready to take a photo or scan a document. This will work even if your phone is locked. You don’t need to enter a passcode or unlock it with Touch ID.
After you take a photo and click Use Photo, it immediately appears in the document on your Mac.
Pretty neat, huh!? When it works, it’s great! However, if the continuity camera is not working, it can be very frustrating. Here are some troubleshooting tips.
Continuity camera troubleshooting
The first thing to do is try to enable two-factor authentication for your Apple ID. Since this feature automatically opens the camera app without requiring you to unlock your phone, it seems to me that two-factor authentication is definitely a requirement.
With this enabled, disable and enable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on both devices. Then make sure you reboot both devices. If it still doesn’t work, then there aren’t many options.
You can try signing out of iCloud on both devices and then signing back in. If your device doesn’t sync with iCloud as expected, this should fix it. Select Save a copy when I sign out of iCloud. Alternatively, reboot your device to sign in to iCloud again.
Finally, make sure you are connected to the same Wi-Fi network on both devices. Technically, one device connected to a 2.4 GHz network and another connected to a 5 GHz network is still on the same network, but just pick one to rule out any potential issues.
Hope you can use continuous camera on your Apple devices! Enjoy!