If you have an old phone lying around, you can easily use it by turning it into a mobile security camera. With Edward Snowden’s app, it’s very easy. Here’s how.
Your phone already has the components of a «real» security camera, namely a camera lens and an internet connection. You’ve been doing this with an Android phone for years, but there’s an even safer way.
We’re going to use an app called Haven, which was developed by NSA chief Edward Snowden. You can use the app on just about any Android phone or tablet, from an old spare seat in your drawer to a cheap $50 phone from WalMart. As long as your device has a working camera and microphone, you can use it as a security camera. You can install the Haven beta from the Google Play Store or compile it yourself from the Github repository.
Haven will work whether your phone is connected to Wi-Fi or a USB to Ethernet adapter. If you’re going on a wired internet route, be sure to purchase an adapter that also provides power. The Haven app itself only works on Android devices, but you can set it up to alert your iPhone.
Setting up Haven on your old phone
Before setting up the Haven app, make sure your ideal location has enough space to set up your phone, provide power, and connect an Ethernet or Wi-Fi cable. When everything is decided, open the Haven app. Swipe across the first pair of screens, then select Customize.
Click «Allow» in the prompts for permission to access photos, media and files, and to take pictures and record videos.
Click «Allow» in the next resolution to take a photo and record a video.
The next screen will be your live camera feed. Tap the icon at the bottom left to switch between the front and rear cameras, and use the slider along the bottom of the screen to set the motion detection sensitivity. You can always go back and increase or decrease motion sensitivity to better match your surroundings. Click «Back» in the top left corner to see more options.