What Is Continuity Camera and How Does It Work?

Send photos and documents from your iPhone or iPad to your Mac

With Apple's release of macOS Mojave, the company introduced the Continuity Camera feature to snap photos or scan documents with an iPhone or iPad then route it immediately to a Mac. This feature streamlines the attachment of photos through a desktop email program or the logging of receipts for later sorting.

The information below applies to Mac computers running macOS Mojave and mobile devices running at least iOS 12 or iPadOS13.

Requirements for Using the Continuity Camera Feature

Both the Mac and the mobile device activate Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and be signed into the same Apple ID.

Man using iPhone and Mac
Pattanaphong Khuankaew/EyeEm/Getty Images

What Applications Support Continuity Camera?

Several apps support Continuity Camera in macOS Mojave:

  • Finder
  • Keynote
  • Mail
  • Messages
  • Notes
  • Numbers
  • Pages
  • TextEdit

If the application you are using on your Mac is not included in the above list, it will not work with Continuity Camera.

How the Continuity Camera Feature Works

The Continuity Camera feature supports a Take Photo and a Scan Documents function.

Taking a Photograph

To import a photograph into an application such as Apple's Keynote, follow these steps.

  1. Within the supported application on macOS Mojave, right-click where the photo should appear.

  2. From the context menu, mouse over the Import from iPhone or iPad option, and then select Take Photo.

    If the Take Photo option appears several times, select the option under the device you intend to use when taking the photograph.

    The Take Photo option in Continuity Camera
  3. On your iPhone or iPad, snap the photo then select Use Photo.

    Use Photo on the iPad
  4. The photograph transfers to the application and location you specified on your Mac.

    An image in Pages

Scan a Document

Follow these steps to scan a document into your app.

  1. Within the supported application on macOS Mojave, right-click where the document should appear.

  2. From the context menu, select the Import from iPhone or iPad option, then select the Scan Documents option.

    If the Scan Documents option appears several times, select the option under the device you intend to use when scanning the documents.

    The Scan Documents option in Pages
  3. On your iPhone or iPad, ensure the document you wish to scan is in view of your camera—the device will automatically scan it when it has a clear view. Force a scan by tapping the camera button.

  4. If needed, drag the corners around the document to adjust its cropping.

  5. Take more document scans if needed. When finished, select Keep Scan on your device's screen.

  6. The document images transfer to the application and location you specified on your Mac.