Webcam is a feature that is taken for granted on most laptops, but for stationary, it’s another story and quality cameras can sometimes cost quite expensive. To remedy this, tools make it possible to turn your Android smartphone into a camera for your computer. Here’s how.
A Pixel 4 used as webcam
Do you have a remote job interview in an hour, but your computer doesn’t have a webcam? The solution that would surely come in mind would be to hurry to get a camera to plug in USB.
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But there is one solution that can turn out to be much more convenient: to use your smartphone. This one can be transformed into an IP webcam. The concept is to broadcast the camera image of your phone over a network that will be accessible from software on your PC that will emulate this video stream like that of a webcam.
Android offers different solutions suitable for Windows, macOS or Linux.
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DroidCam Wireless: the best solution for Windows and Linux
Among the different applications we have been able to use, DroidCam Wireless Webcam is clearly the most effective. The application, developed by Dev47Apps, is available for Windows and Linux, but not for macOS, unfortunately.
To get started, install the app Download DroidCam for free APK from the Google Play Store. The app comes in two versions: free and Pro at 4.29 euros offering better image quality (HD 720p) as well as more controls (flash, zoom, autofocus, etc.).
Then go back to your computer running Windows or Linux to download and install the client software Download DroidCam OBS for free APK available on the developer’s site. Accept that the software installs its drivers if requested by the system. You are also advised to turn off all software using the webcam (such as Skype) during this installation to avoid any compatibility issues.
To continue, check that your smartphone and computer are connected on the same network. If done, launch the DroidCam app on your smartphone and give it the Required permissions (access the camera and record audio content only). At that time, the application shows you different IP addresses. The first two lines, WiFi IP and DroidCam Port will be the ones we are interested in.
On the computer, open the DroidCam client that has been added to the desktop and copy the WiFi IP line of the application into the Device IP field. Verify that the DroidCam Port line is the same on the application and computer, select whether you want to have access to video and audio or only one of them, and then launch by clicking Start .
DroidCam Client on Windows
The camera image of your smartphone should then be displayed on the computer client. So your phone is recognized as a Input device for image and sound capture. All you have to do is configure it on Skype, Messenger or any other video conferencing app!
Also remember to connect your smartphone to a mains outlet, because this kind of application is very energy-intensive.
Note that the version of Skype natively installed on Windows 10 was not compatible with DroidCam, but the version installed from the official Microsoft website did not present any problems.
For those who have problems with WiFi, DroidCam also offers to connect via USB. Plug your smartphone into your computer and click on the USB logo icon on the DroidCam client and everything will work the same way.
Attention however: for this to work, you must first install the ADB and fastboot tools on your computer and enable the USB debugging mode available in the phone development options (a hidden menu that appears after clicking 7 times on the build number in the “About Phone” settings tab).
Epoccam: the only alternative on macOS?
For macOS, finding a good solution to do the same thing efficiently (and at an acceptable cost) is more difficult. EpocCAM is the only customer to have worked a minimum during our tests…
Download EpocCAM Webcam for free EpocCAM keeps the same concept as DroidCam on Windows, that is, it requires an app on the one hand on the phone and on the other a “driver” on the other. the computer that will connect to it almost automatically if both devices are on the same network. Logically, the first step is to install the app for free on the App Store, and install the drivers from the developer’s site (for macOS X 10.12 and above).
The application and drivers installed, it is only to launch the application, give it permission to access the camera and launch software like Skype on his Mac that will offer you EpoCCAM among the various cameras.