Google has released the first beta version of Android 14 Quarterly Platform Release 1 (QPR1), unveiling some notable new capabilities. Most intriguing is the ability to use Pixel phones as webcams for PCs and Macs, Android 14 webcam feature works with any platform USB webcams, including android itself and Linux system.
The new “Device as Webcam” feature allows connecting a Pixel to a computer via USB and designating it as a webcam for video calling. This turns the high-quality Pixel camera into a webcam upgrade from your laptop’s built-in one. (Photo from X Mishaal Rahman)
Setup is simple – just connect the Pixel with a USB cable and enable camera access on the phone when prompted. Users can switch between front and rear lenses, adjust zoom, and tweak other settings through the webcam preview window.
However, the experience isn’t wireless like on iOS. You’ll need to keep the Pixel physically tethered to your computer. Still, it provides an easy way to upgrade webcam quality without buying dedicated hardware.
Beyond Pixel phone webcam functionality, Android 14 QPR1 introduces more detailed battery usage info under Settings. You can now see metrics like manufacturing date, cycle count, and battery health for enhanced diagnostics and maintenance.
This beta also contains under-the-hood improvements to runtime, graphics rendering, stability, media, and connectivity. Google is focusing on refinement with Android 14 before the major redesign expected in next year’s Android 15 release.
The Android 14 QPR1 beta is currently limited to Pixel models for testing. But the update signals some handy features in the pipeline for all Android users once the stable version becomes available later this year.