Just took delivery about 30 minutes ago of the new “Belkin iPhone Mount with Magsafe for Apple Notebooks” (quite a mouthful) as seen here: https://www.apple.com/shop/product/HQ642ZM/A/belkin-iphone-mount-with-magsafe-for-mac-notebooks
I was really excited for this. As someone who has played around with Camo, an app that enabled this, one of the issues I always struggled with was lacking an elegant piece of hardware to bridge the gap between the real world and the software. I previously had a Gorillapod duct taped to the back of my monitor and this… Sounded better.
Of course, with Ventura supporting using an iPhone as a webcam, this all became a lot easier with software. With the release of this little widget, the hardware gap is bridged – at least in theory.
This little piece was talked about briefly in this weeks episode of Connected, and one thing that was talked about in the show was it supporting laptops only. Certainly true here – no way to use it with a Studio Display or other external display. That being said, what wasn’t mentioned on the show is that the press release for the product indicated that another version for use with an external monitor was coming soon – I’ll grab one of these once they’re out.
Otherwise, my first impressions: fit and finish are nice. I like that they included the ring grip on this to make it something I’d at least consider keeping on my phone at all times, rather than an easily-lost accessory I only use for calls.
The big downfall though is Magsafe. When using the ring grip in the hand, if you move your hand too quickly, it simply falls off and your phone falls to the couch or worse, clatters to the floor. When attached to the laptop, if you even moderately jostle your laptop, one of two things happens: either the weight of your phone tilts your laptop screen back and then the phone falls, or your laptop screen remains stable but the phone falls anyways. It’s really not secure – certainly fine for using on a tabletop, probably fine for using on your lap while stationary, but almost definitely not safe to use on a bumpy train, taxi, or plane.
I’m living the naked iPhone life, and using an iPhone 12 Pro Max. I expect some combination of lighter/heavier phone, no case/different types of cases, and phone model (unsure if magnet strength has improved across generations) will affect how stable it is.