Let’s assume a scenario. You use a desktop computer and don’t have a webcam. Or you have a laptop of the old version which doesn’t have any built-in webcam or a webcam but has been broken. Now in this condition, you have to make an important video call to someone or attend an urgent online video meeting. What will you do? Don’t be too much worried. If you have a smartphone, there is nothing to worry about. You easily can use smartphones as a webcam. You may wonder how I would use a smartphone as a webcam. Is it even possible? Relax, I will tell you how to use a smartphone as a webcam.
Why You Need to Use Your Smartphone as Webcam:
You would know that not all computers have webcams. For most people, a video call or a video chat is occasional mostly. And when you want to make one, you are going to need a webcam. Here arises a question of why you would spend money on a separate webcam when you need it only for rare purposes. As a webcam, you can easily use your android phone’s camera. It will be more efficient in this condition.
Again, you maybe use webcam; but for some reason, it’s not working. You can use this facility for back up purposes.
Moreover, it will save you a few dollars.
How to Use a Smartphone as a Webcam:
The process of using a smartphone as webcam is not that complex but easy which involves the streaming of video from your smartphone to your PC and having computer driver software that can capture it and use it as webcam video. Hey, relax, and do not get scared with the above details. It will be easy for you to do.
- Your phone should support video and must have Bluetooth or Wi-Fi facility.
- Software for your phone and the respective app for your desktop also; then connect them.
There are many apps present for the purpose to use smartphone as webcam.
Some of them are-
- IP Webcam(for Android)/IP Cam Viewer Lite(for IOS)
- PocketCam and so on.
IP Webcam has the limitation to work only on Wi-Fi; so you need to connect your phone that way to use this application. This is pretty easy but to use it correctly and smoothly, there are a few things you need to configure.
Use your phone as webcam via Wi-Fi:
Video from your phone will be streamed and will be available on your PC applications via Wi-Fi in this process. This is one of the easiest ways to do the job.
- Firstly, you have to make sure that both of your phone and computer are connected to the same network via Wi-Fi. You can connect both your phone and computer may be on the Internet by using a wireless router. Or by using a virtual router, you can connect your android phone to your computer internet network. Or you can connect your phone to your PC with a shared network. They just have to be on the same network. You can connect them as you wish.
- Now, install IP Webcam on your android phone from the android market or play store. If you have an iPhone, you can install IP Cam Viewer Lite.
- Open the app. You will see a configuration screen where you can set different options for the port, video, sound quality, etc. according to your wish. You don’t need to change anything as the default options are good enough for you. Just click on the ‘Start server’.
Again if you don’t want your browser to do it and perform all these functions, you can also do it by installing the ManyCam app in your Windows or MacBook.
- Open the ManyCam app and click on Add/Remove IP Camera.
Now it’s connected and you can use your smartphone as webcam on your PC.
DroidCam is actually easier to install and work with than that of IP Webcam. It works by creating a connection between your smartphone and your computer. The connection can be done by using a wireless network or by using a USB cable connection.
Use your android phone as webcam via Wi-Fi:
- You have to make sure that both of your phone and computer are connected to the same network via Wi-Fi.
- Then download and install the DroidCam Wireless Webcam app in your android phone from the Play store.
- Now you have to download and install the DroidCam app also on your computer. Open your web browser and go to the page DroidCam Windows Client. Click on ‘Client v6.0’ to download DroidCam for your PC.
If all have worked rightly, your smartphone can work as your webcam and you can see it on your computer what your phone camera sends.
Use Your Smartphone as Webcam via Usb:
You can connect your smartphone using USB without WI-Fi. For this, you have to do some extra configuration as android can be connected to the computer via USB only in the debugging mode and with the help of ADB.
This process is a little bit complex and so only recommended for the advanced users. For, you have to use the Debugging mode.
- Firstly, you have to set up your phone in the debugging mode. Go to Settings; then Applications; then to Development/Developers option; then USB Debugging.
- Connect your phone to the computer via USB using the USB cable. (Never select storage mode)
- Download and install DroidCam Wireless Webcam app on your android phone from the Play store.
- Open your app. You will see a server message. It will show you the Wi-Fi network you’re connected to, the IP address of your Android smartphone, the port used by the app. This information will be useful to you.
That’s all. You have connected your phone to your computer. You can see the preview on the computer screen whatever your phone camera processes. Lastly, to use webcam driver, configure your video call applications.
SmartCam is another app which works via Bluetooth and wi-fi. In Bluetooth, the audio is a bit choppy. Unlike Droidcam, you can change the resolution here. So it counts as an advantage.
Use your smartphone as webcam via Bluetooth:
- Firstly, download the SmartCam app for your windows computer from their official website and install it.
- Open it and choose the Bluetooth option to connect.
- Now, download the SmartCam app on your android phone from the play store and open it.
- In the app, go to the Settings menu; choose your connection type (Bluetooth), and configure your Bluetooth settings. The port probably may not need to be changed, but as the “remote server” you have to enter the local IP address of your computer.
- Now, go back to SmartCam computer application. Go to Settings and configure your connection as you did in your android app.
- In Android’s app, click the Connect the Bluetooth button.
- Your connection is almost done. Lastly, select SmartCam as the source in the Skype video settings.
Use Ios Smartphone as Webcam:
There are mainly two apps which are popular for using IOS smartphone as a webcam. They are – EpocCam and PocketCam.
PocketCam is a complex app and difficult to configure. It gives access to only low-quality video (black and white) and also no audio.
On the contrary, EpocCam is pretty easy to configure and use. So, I am going to tell you how to use it.
Firstly, you have to make sure that both your iDevice and PC are connected to the same network.
Then, download and install EpocCam on your iDevice and also on your Mac or PC.
While installing, there are possibilities that some prompts may appear and ask you to install some drivers. Don’t be in a fix. They are essentially audio and video drivers that are used by the EpocCam app.
Now, start the app on both devices (iPhone and PC).
It is a great advantage of EpocCam that the app will search for the device running EpocCam on the same Wi-Fi network automatically. The video from your iDevice will be previewed on your computer very soon.
There might be some cases when the app will not connect your device to your computer automatically. In the case, to fix the issue you have to start your device.
Your connection is done. Lastly, just select EpocCam app as the source in the Skype video settings.
Which One Is Better?
As you see, there are many apps to use smartphone as webcam. So, which app should you use? Which one is better for you?
You should know that there are two versions of every app. One is free and the other is paid. All of the paid apps are good enough and have many options to use. The main differences are in free version apps.
For connection using Wi-Fi, all of the apps work fine. Among them, DroidCam is the best for me. IP WebCam is good but it doesn’t support Skype video calling and more complex to use than DroidCam.
Connection via USB is mostly for advanced users and can be smoothly done by DroidCam usually.
For connection via Bluetooth, Smartcam is better than other apps through the audio is a bit choppy in the free version.
For IOS smartphones, EpocCam is better to use.
You can do the connection with any app of the above. Now, it’s your choice which you want to use.
Limitations of Using Smartphone as Webcam:
This facility of using a smartphone as a webcam is more likely of casual occasions. If you have a webcam or can afford a webcam, you have no need of using a smartphone as a webcam. Sometimes, using a smartphone as a webcam doesn’t behave smoothly and becomes out of control. The connections are not spontaneous sometimes. Without that, this facility of using smartphones as webcam works just fine.
I hope you already know the importance of using a smartphone as a webcam. It can be very useful sometimes when you have no other options. And most importantly, you now know how to use a smartphone as a webcam. You can choose any of the apps and can do it with the help of them. Then you can fulfill your need.
You can even turn your old smartphone into a security camera. To know how, please click here. That’ll be all for now. See you soon.