Don’t have a webcam but need to record a video for Facebook or YouTube? Perhaps you already have a webcam and want to add a second setting?

All you need is your Android smartphone and the right app. Here’s how to use your Android phone as a webcam.

Why use your Android phone as a webcam?

You took me by surprise Your children want to chat with grandparents on Skype. Or perhaps it’s your boss who wants to hold a teleconference to discuss the report you’ve submitted.

But you don’t have a webcam.

While they are built into many monitors and all-in-one PCs, not everyone has a webcam. Peripheral webcams are popular, but they can be difficult to install and temperamental, even when set up correctly.

The solution is what we covered earlier, but this method no longer works. Perhaps the best — perhaps really only — choice you have to make is to install DroidCam. This is an Android app that turns your smartphone (and if you have a good capture device, tablet) into a handy portable webcam.

Before you start, think about stability

You will learn how easy it is to turn your Android device into a webcam. But before you do that, it’s time to think about stability.

No one wants to watch a video where the image is constantly shaking and blurry. To overcome this, you need to find a safe place to stand on your phone. It could be something as simple as a popsocket to lean on or even Lego bricks.

As long as you have some sort of support for your phone, the video feed should be clear and stable. You may have a case that allows you to stand on your phone. If not, look at a tripod designed for smartphones.

Now, here are two solutions that will turn any Android phone into a webcam.

Method 1: DroidCam Wireless Webcam

DroidCam consists of two parts: a free Android app from Google Play (a premium version is also available) and a desktop client component available from Dev47Apps for Windows and Linux.

Start by installing the Android app. Having done this, turn your attention to your computer. After downloading this app, unzip and run it following the on-screen instructions.

Once launched, you will see a prompt to enter the IP address of your DroidCam. This should be easy to find — just run the app on your phone and it shows up as well as the port number. Back in the desktop client, you’ll notice that there’s an option to stream audio from your phone. You can also adjust the video quality; choose from low , normal and high .

If you choose to connect via USB, all you need is the USB cable that came with your phone.

When you’re ready to continue, click start, to start streaming. The mobile app will then send the image from your phone’s camera to your computer. For dual camera devices, click the » Settings» in the mobile app and check the corresponding box to switch to the camera you want to use.

Droidcam lets you use your Android as a webcam

While the free version of DroidCam offers some good options, it’s not perfect. For example, you can only use the webcam in landscape mode. Zoom is limited, as are resolution, brightness, and other controls, which can be found in the menu at the bottom of the DroidCam desktop client.

To activate them, you need to upgrade to a paid version called DroidCamX. Naturally, we recommend that you only do this if you think you will be using these features. Otherwise, stick with the free version of DroidCam.

Download : DroidCam (Free) | DroidCamX ($4.50)

Method 2: IP webcam

A strong alternative to DroidCam, the IP webcam is also available for free on Google Play with an improved upgrade available. Download the PC Viewer from ip-webcam.appspot.com.

The setup is basically the same as DroidCam. However, while there is a configuration tool that you need to complete, the IP camera requires you to view the results through a web browser.

Only Chrome or Firefox is suitable for this, so Windows users should avoid Edge and Internet Explorer. You will need to use the address http:// [IP ADDRESS]: 8080 / videofeed to watch the channel. You will find the correct IP address on your phone’s display.

The app offers different image resolutions for videos and photos. Although it supports smartphone rear cameras, front cameras are not yet fully supported.

After starting, press the button Actions» on an Android device to make sure the app is working properly, to stop and start the camera, and more.

Stream video from your Android webcam

Meanwhile, if you want an easy way to store the video recorded with the IP camera, there is also a dedicated Dropbox upload plugin available on Google Play.

Download: IP Webcam (Free) | IP Webcam Pro ($4)
Download :IP Webcam Uploader

Need skype? Forget webcams, just use your mobile

If you’re only looking for a way to use Skype, these solutions won’t work if you’re running Skype 8. At the time of this writing, Microsoft plans to drop Skype «Classic» (usually version 7) soon. Unfortunately, Skype 8 will not detect your phone via IP camera or DroidCam wireless webcam.

Solution? Well, if you need to make Skype video calls, just call from your phone or tablet! These days, front-facing cameras are standard on phones, making it easy to make Skype calls. You can simply enter your Skype credentials into the mobile app and use it to make calls.

This option eliminates the need to install any additional software and means that Skype is always on your phone. See our guide to using Skype on Android. more.

If your Android webcam isn’t enough…

We’ve looked at the free options for each of these apps, and there’s a good reason for that. If the free version works and is competent, there’s a good chance the full version will be equally — if not more — impressive.

While evaluating these Android webcam apps, I noticed two main features: the difference in the number of features available in each of them, and the ease of setting them up.

So the winner was DroidCam for its ease of installation and good support for messenger apps.

While the features on offer are limited, it gets the job done until you’re ready to buy an affordable webcam. If and when you buy this webcam, read this article if you are concerned that your webcam has been hacked.

By the way, you can also use your Android phone as an IP camera. to stream video over the Internet. And we have a guide showing you how to do it.

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