Webcams have become a staple in today’s digital society. This is because we use them for so many things; we make use of them to be a part of online meetings or to video chat with friends, loved ones, or anyone in order to be able to have live audio and video.
Webcams also allow us to record or live stream videos to the internet and our different social media, furthermore, we can also apply them to different uses s like online dating, video security, newscasting, online dating, commerce, and even laser beam profiling.
Even though they have many applications and are a staple need in today’s digital society, a large number of desktops and some groups of laptops just leave this necessary piece of hardware out of their specifications, the good news is that almost all smartphones today come with webcams.
This implies that is your PC doesn’t have a webcam, you would either need to spend some money in order to get a webcam, this option might burn a hole in your savings as webcams do not come cheap, or learn how to use your smartphone as a webcam, which is in comparison a cheaper option. Yes, the same camera that you used to take selfies pictures can be turned into a productivity tool.
Even so, not everyone has the skill to use their phone as a webcam. This is why in this article the procedures on how to do it effectively are going to be laid out for you. We will begin with how to turn your android device into a webcam then proceed on to be able to do the very same with your iPhone or iPad.
Using Your Phone as a Webcam on a Windows or Linux PC
Before you proceed to use the following steps, it would be more beneficial to make sure that your smartphone and PC are operating using the same Wifi connection. However, If this is not achievable you could connect them together using a USB cable.
One important thing to note is that if you are using your phone as a webcam for any long period of time, we suggest that you keep it connected also to a source of power, as smartphones use more of their battery source while streaming videos and this will cause your phone to use up its battery in a short while.
We also suggest you take the time to invest and pick a tripod, as this will ensure that you don’t have to brace your phone on a support that is not stable. With all this so far, it’s time to learn how to convert your phone to a webcam. Here’s what you need to do;
- Go to the link and download the Droidcam Wireless Webcam application unto your android phone.
A major requirement of the app is that your android phone has to be operating on an Android 5.0 Lollipop or newer software.
- The desktop client would also need to be downloaded unto your Windows or Linux PC
- After the installation of the droid cam app on your smartphone, you’ll also need to get the desktop client up and running on your PC. Even as this installation goes on, the app might prompt you to the absence of some audio drivers and any other ones that are needed, you might need to give the app permission to install them.
As soon as the desktop client is up and running, some options would be displayed near the top of the app window that gives you the choice of deciding whether to connect your PC and device via USB or wirelessly.
It is placed on the Wifi connection setting by default and you should remember to change it to the USB setting if that is what you will be using.
- As you start the app on your PC, it would also prompt you to the IP address of your device.
When the app is launched on your smartphone, you’ll need to skip almost everything till you get to a page where your Device IP will be displayed. The address gotten from this page is what you’ll need to input into the part labeled Device IP.
Please ensure that the smartphone is using the same Wifi connection or is connected to the PC via USB in order that the IP address that is gotten will be accurate.
The three-dot icon at the top of the page takes you to the settings where you can select between the front and rear camera on your android smartphone as the default video option; click on the icon and then settings then proceed to the camera option.
It is suggested that you select the rear camera option as this usually gives a better video quality. Most of the other default settings in the settings tab have already been set to the optimum options so you could leave them as they were or change as your preference is.
- Before clicking start on the desktop client app ensure that both of the boxes for video and audio options are checked. If anyone is left unchecked your phone will be set not to pick up any video or audio respectively.
- After this verification, you can now click on ‘Start’ on the desktop app to begin the connection. The desktop client will display a preview of the video feed on your PC screen. If you are unable to find it, once again please ensure that both your android device and PC are operating on the same Wifi network or LAN.
As soon as everything is up and running smoothly, all that remains is for you to launch the video conferencing app that you would like to use and select Droidcam as your video input (camera) and if you prefer, select the Droidcam Virtual Audio option as your audio input, this makes your android device microphone your default audio input.
One important thing to note is that the Droidcam app is available for iOS devices, however, it is not available for the macOS. This means that you can use your iOS device as the webcam for your Windows or Linux PC.
Now It’s time to proceed to use your smartphone as the webcam for your macOS.
Using Your Smartphone as a Webcam on a macOS PC
However, it has a requirement of your operating system to be an iOS 10.3 or newer software. Contrary to the Droidcam app, it is available for both Windows and macOS.
Another advantage of this app is that it has fewer setup procedures, unlike the Droidcam app, once both the smartphone and macOS are connected on the same Wi-Fi network or LAN, all you have to do then is to launch the EpocCam app on your smartphone and then on your desktop.
Once the app is giving a video output on the desktop, you can then go ahead to select EpocCamera as your default video input (camera)) in your video conferencing app. Once it is selected, you should see a notification on your computer that confirms that the camera is connected via Wifi.
The only con to this EpocCam app is the fact that its free version comes along with a lot of restrictions to it and an example is your video resolution being restricted to just 640 x 480 and also not being able to use your smartphone’s microphone as your audio input.
However, if things are not working smoothly, use the steps below to make some adjustments;
- If it is a browser-based video conferencing app that is being used, your browser will need to be given permission to access the webcam. A notification that’s close to the web address bar will most likely help to resolve this or you can check your browser settings.
- If the Zoom application is being used, a slightly older version (4.6.7) is needed for it to recognize your device as a suitable webcam. The latest update of the zoom application (4.6.11) as at the time of writing this article was not fully compatible with the EpocCam app.
The methods listed above are suitable for converting your smartphone to a Webcam on your Windows, Linux, or macOS PCs. Nonetheless, these might not be the only options that could be considered when you need a webcam for your PC. Another option that could be considered is the use of a regular camera as a Webcam on your Windows, Linux, or macOS PCs.
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