Is Camo an essential app for remote workers with an iPhone?



Two years into remote meetings I have to admit I was a bit frustrated that the cameras I use to join them weren’t as good as my iPhone’s – but I still needed something bigger than my phone.

Camo creates a webcam from your iPhone

I had considered investing in a video camera (and one of those giant microphones people use to make an impression on screen). But I couldn’t justify the expense.

Then I got an email from Reincubate asking if I wanted to check out their app, Camo. It is a software, last updated in October, which allows you to use your iPhone with almost all systems (macOS, Windows, iOS, Android) to participate in a good quality video chat on almost all collaboration platforms.

That means any PC, Mac, or other device suddenly benefits from your iPhone’s fantastic camera, which is almost certainly better than the webcam you might already be using.

Available in Free and Pro versions

There is a free version of Camo that you can work with to get to know it. The Pro version gives you access to even more software controls so you can adjust lighting, zoom, crop, and make other adjustments to create the best look for the session. You also get Portrait mode, on-screen AR effects, a flow that turns you into a sketch (very fun), and a preview window.

The Pro version (which is the one with the most exciting features) will cost you $4.99/month, $39.99/year, or $79.99 for a lifetime license. Nevertheless, the free version has a lot of advantages and will give you the advantage of using your iPhone’s camera.

Either way, you’ll need to find an iPhone camera mount of some kind.

Everyone except FaceTime

Camo supports most video collaboration services: Zoom, Google Meet, Teams, Skype, Cisco Webex, GoToMeeting, Slack, Blue Jeans — even Final Cut Pro. For me, the only really upsetting news is that it doesn’t work with FaceTime yet; but given that most business users need a cross-platform solution, that’s less of an issue outside of Cupertino’s Magic Garden.

[Also read: 12+ tips to make remote meetings more effective]

I’ve only been able to use Camo a little so far, but I’ve been happy with how easy it was to install and how quickly I got used to it. Installation requires the app to be installed on both your iPhone and the other device you wish to use. both are connected using the Lightning cable.

I love that Camo lets me optimize my on-screen appearance, but as anyone who meets me in a video dating knows, I develop the kind of face you want to see on the radio.

While exploring the company’s website, I noticed that the wall street journal Tech columnist Joanna Stern was named a happy customer and wrote a glowing review in 2020. I dropped her a line asking if she’s still using Camo.

Turns out she does. She said she still uses the app to direct most of her CNBC video appearances, and still thinks a lot about it. So maybe it will be useful to you?

You might need this app

I’m usually not lyrical for an entire article about an app, but I think the Apple pros here might find it useful. I see it this way – we know that many business professionals are likely to use an iPhone and will be migrating to Mac soon, as the computers we use today have gotten a bit long in the tooth.

This means that we try to create good customer impressions while using second-rate webcams, even if the best camera we have is in our pocket! Being able to use this camera and access all the useful image settings to improve your appearance can give you some confidence to help you feel more relaxed in a meeting. (It might even give you that little edge to win the order or close the deal.)

There are certain limitations. The free version only supports 720p video, and the coolest (and some of the most useful) features are packed into the Pro version.

Solve a problem you didn’t know you had

This is a great little app that solves a problem you probably have and makes good use of the advanced equipment you already have. It gives you lens controls missing in most video collaboration systems and would be a useful addition to any remote worker’s toolbox.

Let me know how it goes.

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Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.

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