The Elephant Card is a portable mount for Mac owners who want to use their iPhone as a webcam with macOS Ventura’s new Continuity Camera feature. Not only does it fold flat for easy portability, but it also works with or without iPhone cases in my testing and attaches to both my MacBook’s display and desktop monitor.
Better yet, it actually resembles an elephant with its tusks and ears creating the mounting points. That’s adorable, made even more so by the mount’s tiny $7.99 / €7.49 price tag, which returns to the regular $9.99 / €9.90 list price after Monday, November 28th.
To use the mount, you simply unfold the two “tusks” that hold your iPhone, which sends the “ears” backward to create two small hooks that fit over your Mac’s display. It’s a very clever design from the big minds at TeamNobile, the design collective based in Vienna, Austria, responsible for the equally creative AirBell.
The Elephant Card is designed for MacBooks that have long suffered from notoriously bad webcams integrated into their ultra-thin displays. But it also fits the popular Dell UltraSharp U2720Q desktop monitor I have connected to a Mac Mini. The Elephant Card’s ears are nowhere near deep enough to grip the entire thickness of the Dell monitor, but they just happen to slip securely into the air vents located all along the top of the display. If your desktop monitor lacks such embellishments, then it likely won’t work with the Elephant Card mount.
The mount’s ears attached easily to my 12-inch MacBook, as expected. But just like we discovered when testing the $29.95 Belkin mount, the MacBook’s hinges aren’t really designed to hold heavy objects like iPhones. The hinge on my lightweight MacBook supported the combined weight of my iPhone 11 Pro and case until the angle exceeded about 25–30 degrees, after which gravity took control. On one occasion, the mounted phone caused the MacBook to tip over so that the iPhone (lightly) smacked the table — I was glad I left it in the case. To its credit, the Elephant Card kept hold of the iPhone and MacBook even as I reflexively snapped the display upright.
That being said, the ear hooks that rest along the top edge of the MacBook display create a rather narrow and flimsy mounting point. I managed to bump the iPhone once, causing it to come loose from the MacBook and fall onto the table with the Elephant Card still attached. Using the mount on Apple’s lightest MacBooks, especially, requires some care to avoid accidents. For example, I wouldn’t recommend regular use of the Elephant Card with a MacBook placed on your lap while seated on a chair high above a concrete floor — your iPhone is just asking for trouble.
The mount holds the iPhone at a fixed angle, but that limitation didn’t present a problem in my testing. I could either adjust the MacBook’s display enough to be in frame for Zoom calls, or I could rely upon Continuity Camera’s Center Stage feature to automatically crop and center my face when mounted on the higher Dell monitor.
The Elephant Card shares the length and width of a standard credit card, but it’s twice as thick. It easily fits into even compact wallets, but it might be too thick if you’re thinking of squeezing it into the space between your iPhone and the case. For my setup, it created enough of a bulge in the case to partially expose some of the display’s edges to impacts.
All in all, it’s hard to find any major faults with an accessory that provides so much utility to Apple users for less than $10. The current 20 percent discount makes it especially compelling now that gift-giving season is upon us.
Elephant Card is available in blue or gray for the discounted price of $7.99 / €7.49 through Cyber Monday, with 50 cents from every purchase going directly to SaveElephant.org to help with the rescuing and care of Asian elephants.
All photography by Thomas Ricker / The Verge