How to Use Your iPhone as a Webcam: 5 Methods That Work

How to Use Your iPhone as a Webcam: 5 Methods That Work

Did you know it’s possible to use your iPhone as a webcam? It’s never going to quite mimic a webcam in the traditional sense, but there are a few apps that’ll record the phone’s camera and send it to a Mac, a Windows PC, another mobile device, or even to the web.

Doing so has practical benefits. For example, you could use it as a baby monitor, a pet monitor, or a security camera. If you’ve got an old device gathering dust in a drawer, it could save you a significant amount of money.

Keeping reading to discover several methods to using your iPhone’s camera as a webcam.

1. EpocCam

EpocCam is the most popular and most frequently-downloaded app that can turn an iPhone into a webcam.

It works with all webcam-enabled apps (such as Skype and Google Hangouts), supports your iPhone’s rear and front-facing cameras, and encrypts all the video it records. It has a wireless range of 20 feet.

In addition to the app, you’ll also need to download the drivers directly from the developer’s website. Once you have installed the apps, setting up the connection is fully automated; you don’t need to do anything.

A pro version of the app is available. It lets you use the mic to record audio, adds an option for manual focus, and improves the video resolution from 640×480 pixels to 1920×1080 pixels. The pro version also removes the watermark.

Download: EpocCam (Free, premium version available)

2. iCamSource Pro Mobile

iCam Pro - Webcam Streaming app
iCamSource Pro Mobile is a paid app that can turn an iPhone into a webcam. There’s no feature-reduced free version that you can use.
The Pro Mobile app is just one part of the equation. You’ll also need the iCam Pro Webcam Streaming app (a free version is available). Once you have both apps installed, you will be able to stream live video and audio from any iOS device.

Like you’d expect from a security camera, iCam can send you instant alerts if it detects motion or sound. All motion events are automatically backed up to the cloud.

Download: iCamSource Pro Mobile ($ 5)

3. AtHome Camera

AtHome Camera is unique; a computer can remotely view your iPhone’s camera feed, but the iPhone app can also remotely view your computer’s webcam feed. There are two parts to the app: a streamer and a viewer. Both can run on computers (Mac and Windows), smartphones, and tablets. It’s another great app for anyone wondering how to use an iPhone as a webcam.

Aside from the flexibility, it also has some other great features:

  • Two-way talk: It doesn’t matter whether you’re using the streamer app or the viewer app, you can talk to any connected device and hear the audio from that device. This makes it a perfect two-way baby or pet monitor.
  • Motion Detection: You’ll get an instant notification if there is movement on your camera.
  • Scheduled recording: If you just want to monitor your camera at certain times of the day—perhaps while you’re at work—you can pre-program the app.

It’s not your traditional webcam app; it’s ad-supported, and comes with options to upgrade for a premium fee. As with the others, try before you buy to see if it works for you.

Download: AtHome Camera (Free, premium version available)

4. Presence

A lot of what Presence offers is the same as the three apps we’ve already looked at. But it has one important difference—50MB of free cloud storage.

It doesn’t sound like much, but it’ll let you record and save a few minutes of footage of an intruder in your home or if you see your dog doing something hilarious while you’re not there. If you upgrade to the pro version (via in-app purchase), you’ll be able to save up to 5GB of content in the cloud.

Presence also has an accompanying web app, meaning you can log in and see your feeds from any computer in the world. The service is also compatible with Amazon Alexa.

Download: Presence (Free, subscription available)

Lastly, check out the Motrr Galileo iPhone camera mount on Amazon. Connect it to your iPhone, and you can use the Presence app to control the swivel and get a 360-degree view of your home.

Motrr Galileo: App-Driven Motorized Camera Mount Motrr Galileo: App-Driven Motorized Camera Mount Buy Now On Amazon $ 199.95

5. FaceTime

If you don’t want to use third-party apps, it’s possible to utilize FaceTime for using your iPhone as a webcam. It’s not designed to be a webcam app, but that doesn’t mean you should overlook it.

FaceTime has one significant advantage over the third-party options: reliability. It’s made by Apple, supported by Apple, and runs on an Apple operating system. If something goes wrong with a third-party option when you’re away from home, you could be left in an awkward position; with FaceTime, it should be easier to recreate a connection.

All you need is a copy of the app on your iPhone and your Mac. Importantly, you need to make sure the two apps have different contact details under the setting for You can be reached for FaceTime at. (iPhone: Settings > FaceTime; macOS: FaceTime > Preferences). If you have the same details listed for each, you’ll get a busy tone when you try to connect.

Finally, put your phone in the area you want to monitor and call it from your Mac. You’ll need to manually answer it, but the connection should be fairly reliable once you’ve done so.

Other Options for Webcams and Security Cams

EpocCam lets you use the phone as a proxy for your computer’s webcam, but it has a limited range. AtHome Camera gives you flexibility over which device you want to use as the recorder and which you want to be the viewer. Presence is more akin to a CCTV system, with a web app and unlimited range. And lastly, FaceTime gives you a native way to access your phone’s camera.

And if you would like to learn more about home security, you should check out the best home security camera system and the best wireless security cameras.

Read the full article: How to Use Your iPhone as a Webcam: 5 Methods That Work

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How to Use an Android Phone as a Webcam for Your Computer

smartphone-webcam

Don’t have a webcam, but need to record a video for Facebook or YouTube? Perhaps you already have a webcam and want to add a second camera to your setup?

All you need is your Android phone and a suitable app. Here’s how to use your Android smartphone as a webcam.

Why Use Your Android Phone as a Webcam?

You’re caught short. Your children want to chat with their grandparents over Skype. Or perhaps it’s your boss, wanting a teleconference to discuss that report you submitted.

But you don’t have a webcam.

Although they come built into many monitors and all-in-one PCs, not everyone has a webcam. Peripheral webcams are popular, but they can prove tricky to install and temperamental even when they’re set up correctly.

The solution is something we’ve covered previously, but that method no longer works. Arguably the best—perhaps really the only—choice you should make is to install DroidCam. It’s an Android app that turns your smartphone (and if you have a good device for grabbing it, your tablet) into a handy, portable webcam.

Before You Start, Think About Stability

You’re about to discover how simple it is to turn your Android device into a webcam. But before you do that, it’s time to think about stability.

No one wants to watch a video feed where the image constantly shakes around and blurs. To overcome this, you’ll need to find somewhere safe to stand your phone. This might be something simple, like a Popsocket to lean against, or even Lego bricks.

As long as you have some means of propping up your phone, the video feed should be clear and stable. You might have a case that lets you stand the phone. If not, look at a tripod designed for smartphones.

Now, here are two solutions that’ll turn any Android phone into a webcam.

Method 1: DroidCam Wireless Webcam

DroidCam comes in two parts: a free Android app from Google Play (with a premium version also available), and the desktop client component, which is available from Dev47Apps for Windows and Linux.

Begin by installing the Android app. With this done, switch your attention to your PC. After downloading that app, unzip and run it, following any onscreen instructions.

Once launched, you’ll see a prompt to input the IP address for your DroidCam. This should be easy to find—just run the app on your phone and it shows, as well as the port number. Back on the desktop client, you’ll notice that it is possible to stream audio from your phone. You can also adjust video quality; choose from low, normal, and high.

Should you opt to connect via USB, all you’ll need is the USB cable that came with your phone.

When you’re ready to proceed, click Start to begin streaming. The mobile app will then send the image from your phone’s camera to your computer. For devices with two cameras, tap the Settings button on the mobile app and check the appropriate box to switch to the camera you want to use.

Droidcam lets you use Android as a webcam

Although the free version of DroidCam offers some good options, it isn’t perfect. For instance, you can only use the webcam in landscape mode. Zooming is limited, as are resolution, brightness, and various other controls found in the menu across the bottom of the DroidCam desktop client.

To activate these, you’ll need to upgrade to the paid version, titled DroidCamX. Naturally, we would only recommend you do this if you feel you’ll use these features. Otherwise stick with the free DroidCam release.

Download: DroidCam (Free) | DroidCamX ($ 4.50)

Method 2: IP Webcam

A strong alternative to DroidCam, IP Webcam is also available free from Google Play with a premium upgrade available. Download the PC viewer from ip-webcam.appspot.com.

Setup is largely the same as with DroidCam. However, although there is a configuration tool that you need to fill in, IP Webcam requires you to view the output through your web browser.

Only Chrome or Firefox work for this, so Windows users should avoid Edge and internet Explorer. You’ll need to use the http://[IP ADDRESS]:8080/videofeed address to view the feed. You’ll find the correct IP address on your phone’s display.

The app offers various image resolutions for video and stills. Though it supports rear smartphone cameras, front-facing cameras aren’t yet fully supported.

Once you’re up and running, tap the Actions button on your Android device to check the app is running correctly, to stop and start the camera, and more.

Streamed video from your Android webcam

Meanwhile, if you want an easy way to store video recorded with IP Webcam, a dedicated Dropbox uploader plugin is also available from Google Play.

Download: IP Webcam (Free) | IP Webcam Pro ($ 4)
Download: IP Webcam Uploader

Need Skype? Forget Webcams, Just Use Your Mobile

If you’re only looking for a way to use Skype, these solutions won’t work if you’re using Skype 8. At the time of writing, Microsoft plans to retire Skype “Classic” (typically version 7) shortly. Skype 8 won’t detect your phone via IP Webcam or DroidCam Wireless Webcam, sadly.

The solution? Well, if making Skype video calls is what you’re looking for, just call from your phone or tablet! Front-facing cameras come standard on phones these days, making it easy to make Skype calls. You can simply input your Skype account credentials into the mobile app and use it to make calls.

This option removes the need for installing any additional software, and means that Skype is always on your phone. See our guide to using Skype on Android for more details.

If Your Android Phone Webcam Isn’t Enough…

We’ve looked at the free options for each of these apps, and there’s a good reason for this. If the free version works and is competent, there’s a strong chance that the full version will be equally—if not more—impressive.

Assessing these Android webcam apps, I’ve noticed two key traits: the variation in the number of features available in each, and how easy they are to setup.

So the winner is DroidCam, for being easy to set up and providing good support for messenger apps. While the features on offer are limited, it gets the job done until you’re ready to buy an affordable webcam.

Read the full article: How to Use an Android Phone as a Webcam for Your Computer

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Use Your Webcam For Home Surveillance With These Tools

Home surveillance is important even if you live in a traditionally safe neighborhood. You never know what might go wrong, and when it does, it’s so good to have video evidence. Unfortunately, dedicated home security camera systems can be expensive! One way to save a lot of money is to set up a network of webcams instead. Budget webcams are surprisingly good these days, and you can buy several for the price of one security camera. You can also set up old smartphones as webcams around the house. The hard part is managing all of those webcams. The good news?…

Read the full article: Use Your Webcam For Home Surveillance With These Tools

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