Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Fixing Continuity Camera


Continuity Camera became a feature that I need to work reliably. Sadly, it doesn’t. Half of the time, apps like Zoom and Discord on macOS could not see the iPhone SE in the list of available cameras. This meant I had to fetch a Lightning cable to manually connect the iPhone. If I was unlucky that day, and that didn’t work, I would have to completely reboot the Mac. If I was really unlucky that day, and even that didn’t work, I would end up joining the call without a camera. Despite meeting all the requirements listed by Apple Support, this problem just kept happening on random occasions.


Unsurprisingly, I was far from being the only person to encounter this issue with wireless Continuity Camera. I stumbled upon a flurry of Reddit threads and Apple Support discussions opened by people having this problem.


Logging out from your iCloud account on your Mac is synonymous with hours lost to resynchronizing all your data and settings across your apps. Still, I wanted to try it at least once, to see if it would solve the issues I was having with Continuity Camera, once and for all. Unfortunately, it didn’t.


In the end, I discovered the strangest fix you could imagine. If Continuity Camera wasn’t working, I realized that if I headed to the ‘Touch ID & Password’ section in System Settings, and toggled the setting to automatically unlock the Mac with the Apple Watch, then Continuity Camera would immediately start working fine again.

However, sometimes this can’t be toggled until the watch has been unpaired and repaired with the iPhone.


4 Comments RSS · Twitter · Mastodon

I like the idea of unlocking my Mac with my Apple Watch. But I have a keyboard shortcut to lock my Mac when I walk away from it. As soon as try to walk away, my watch unlocks my Mac. So I have it off.

You guys are lucky. I had to disable the continuity camera outright because of this incredibly bizarre bug where, if I moved a few feet *away* from my laptop, Zoom would automatically connect to my phone and begin using the camera. This resulted in multiple random instances where zoom accidentally tried to show me using the bathroom in the middle of a call. *horrifying* functionality, with no obvious pattern, trigger, or solution. And my only choice was to disable the feature altogether.

This is what I dislike about all the Continuity/Handoff features. The reliability is really bad. I just avoid them most of the time.

In one case, they are even making my otherwise good day-to-day experience with macOS worse. On my M1 MacBook Air, when the awdl0 interface is up, my regular Wifi will have very bad latency issues. You would not notice it while browsing the web, but latency-sensitive applications will perform badly. You can notice it for example, when typing in SSH sessions. The only way to fix it is to disable the awdl0 interface.

Keeping a drive mapped, unlocking with Apple Watch, using continuity camera, and sharing screen are all very unreliable for me. There are work-arounds for each issue, but they don't always work.

Continuity camera (connecting my iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 15 pro to Mac mini M2 pro) works only if I connect my iPhone directly to the Mac with a wire.

Leave a Comment