Unveiling the Connection Between Continuity Camera and 'Unlock With Apple Watch'

Continuity Camera is a native feature on macOS that allows the use of an iPhone as a webcam. It can be connected via cable or wirelessly using the same Apple ID on both devices. The author has been using an old iPhone SE as a webcam for video calls but has encountered reliability issues with the wireless connection, particularly with apps like Zoom and Discord not recognizing the iPhone SE as a camera.

The author considered purchasing a dedicated webcam or keeping the iPhone constantly connected, but these solutions were not ideal due to cost and port availability. Through research, a common issue with the wireless Continuity Camera was found, with various proposed fixes that were not consistently successful.

Eventually, the author discovered a unique fix: toggling the ‘Unlock with Apple Watch’ setting in the System Settings of macOS. This fix consistently worked, making the iPhone SE reappear as an available camera without the need for cables or a system reboot. This solution was validated multiple times.

Recently, the author encountered an issue where the ‘Unlock with Apple Watch’ setting could not be toggled on. This was resolved by unpairing and then repairing the Apple Watch with the iPhone, after which the Continuity Camera worked again. The author suggests that the ‘Auto Unlock with Apple Watch’ feature might be related to the same system service as Continuity Camera, and toggling the setting might reset this service.

The author concludes that despite loving Continuity Camera, its unreliability is a concern. The author is considering investing in a dedicated webcam or finding a way to keep the iPhone constantly connected. For those experiencing similar issues with wireless Continuity Camera, toggling the ‘Unlock with Apple Watch’ setting may be a worthwhile workaround.