One of the main advantages that Android phones have is that once they are “retired” they can still be used in other contexts.
In fact, in this article, we will deal with the use of an Android smartphone as a Webcam even if it is only one of the many uses that can be made of these devices.
Given its size, in fact, an object of this type is easy to handle and can be positioned in any context. Whether it’s a baby monitor, a security camera or simply replacing a normal webcam, with this guide you will learn how to transform your mobile phone into a device capable of shooting.
Using an Android smartphone as a webcam: a guide with all the basic steps
Even if webcams now have low costs (or are part of all-in-one products as often happens with laptops) it does not mean that “recycling” a smartphone in this sense is a useless choice.
In fact, in case of failure or emergency, it can always be useful to have a backup camera. This concept is reinforced by the fact that, in order to accomplish this transformation, in fact only an app suitable for the purpose is required.
In fact, by default, Android smartphones have all the components that make them easily adaptable to the purpose.
At the software level, the most common choice is DroidCam. In fact, it is an Android app that transforms your smartphone (but also tablet) into a portable webcam. In order to interact with a Windows system, it is also necessary to download and install the same software for that operating system.
How to use DroidCam to turn your Android device into a webcam
Installed the app on Android and the software on Windows, you can finally proceed with the operation. Once both applications have been started, the IP of the computer can be entered on Android.
Once this is done, via the software on the computer, it will be possible to stream directly. In this sense, just click (from Windows) on Start to start streaming.
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.
Please note: in case of WiFi with a suboptimal line, it is recommended to connect the “adapted” webcam directly via USB cable.
Although the free version of DroidCam offers some good options, it isn’t perfect. In fact, the premium version allows you to use some very interesting advanced functions, such as the one that allows the use of the webcam in vertical mode, advanced zoom, changes in brightness resolution, and many other functions.
This pro version of the app, called DroidCamX, can still be activated after trying the free version without time limits.
Is there a viable alternative to DroidCam? Although it is the ideal app to transform any Android smartphone into a webcam, there is similar software, namely IP Webcam
As for the first app analyzed, also in this case it is free software with the possibility of upgrading to an advanced pro version and full of additional functions.
The installation is basically the same as DroidCam. The main difference between the two applications lies in the fact that IP Webcam uses the web browser ( Chrome or Firefox ) for the transmission of images.
To view the webcam, it is essential to type the address in the appropriate field of the browser:
http: // [IP ADDRESS]: 8080 / videofeed
The IP number to be entered is presented directly from the app on a smartphone.
The app offers various image resolutions for video and still images. Although IP Webcam fully supports rear cameras for smartphones, front cameras are not yet fully supported.
Once installed and running, you can select the Actions button on the Android device to verify that the app is working properly, to stop and start the camera, and more.
Last but not least, it should be considered the fact that IP Webcam can use an upload plugin, as regards videos and recorded images, which allows uploading content directly to Dropbox.
Additional software that aims to transform the smartphone into a webcam is ivCam. In this case, however, it should be pointed out, how the app works very well even in the iOS environment.
It offers the possibility to shoot videos in high quality, offering low latency. The connection can be managed both via Wi-Fi and USB, to allow an even less delay between shooting and playing the video. Supported resolutions range from 360p up to 4K and both frame rate and sound quality can be precisely configured.
ivCam also supports most software that uses the webcam, including almost all apps in the industry that can usually be found on the Microsoft Store.
Home Security Camera (Alfred Camera)
Home security camera, known until a few years ago as Alfred Camera, is a specific app that allows you to transform your device, Android or iOS, into a discreet and inexpensive security camera.
The software in question, in addition to being totally free, offers an impressive series of features. Thanks to this app, in fact, it is possible to stream live 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, complete with an intelligent warning in the event of motion detection. The unlimited cloud storage space, night vision, the walkie-talkie function (ideal for talking with pets or children), and the ability to zoom, are other functions that make this app unique.
If you intend to use an Android smartphone as a security camera, this solution is definitely the most suitable for the purpose.
If your Android phone’s webcam isn’t enough …
Using Android smartphones as a webcam can be a temporary solution. The quality of the shots and the functions, in fact, are not comparable to what is generally offered by a real webcam.
This final consideration is also to be understood from the point of view that, most likely, being a “recycled” and therefore dated smartphone, it will hardly present the latest generation video camera.
To continuously use a device of this kind, it is recommended to turn to specific products, especially since economic models are available nowadays.
In fact, an adapted solution can be a good way to deal with an emergency, but it is still impossible to compare with any standard webcam.