The ongoing pandemic has widely affected the people attend their jobs now, as major companies are adapting to the “work from home” environment. It is essential to maintain direct communication with your colleagues or employees, so a webcam for video conference meetings is an absolute necessity.
The problem is– even the most basic webcams have seen a price surge due to very high demands, as well as the supply chain going through a major interruption during lockdowns.
If you haven’t managed to get your hands on a webcam yet, don’t worry. It’s possible to use your spare smartphone (or the one you’re currently using) as a webcam for your PC.
You can follow this guide to set up your Android or iOS device as a webcam so that you can keep in direct touch with others while maintaining social distancing guidelines.
Guide to use your Android device as a webcam
DroidCam is one of the best apps you can use to turn your Android device into a full-fledged webcam, with over either a Wi-Fi or USB connection. It is also the easiest piece of software to work with, and Droidcam is also available for free. Here’s how you can set it up:
- First, download and install the DroidCam Wireless Webcam app on your Android device (running 5.0 Lollipop or later) from the Google Play Store.
- Next, download the latest version of the DroidCam Windows Client setup from the official developer website, then run the setup file. In case you get a Windows Security prompt on your PC during the client installation, click Install to continue. Otherwise, the required audio drivers won’t get installed.
- After the installation finishes, close the installer and launch the DroidCam Client from your desktop.
- In the client window, you will have two options for a connection: Wi-Fi or USB. We will proceed with Wi-Fi as it’s the simplest way to connect to your Android device over the same network.
- Now open the DroidCam app on your Android device. A Wi-Fi IP will be shown on the home page. Enter the same IP in the Device IP field of the DroidCam Client on PC. The default DroidCam Port should be 4747.
- Make sure that the box next to Video is ticked. Select Audio as well in case you want your Android device’s microphone to capture audio.
- To switch between rear and front camera for your video feed, tap the overflow (three-dot) icon in the upper-right corner of the DroidCam app on your Android device, then scroll down to the Camera option. We recommend you to use the rear camera of your device for the best video quality possible.
- Finally, click Start in the DroidCam Client window on your PC. You should see a tiny video feed as a preview. If it doesn’t appear, then make sure that your PC and Android device are connected to the same Wi-Fi network. It should also work even if your PC is connected via Ethernet to your Wi-Fi router.
That’s it! You can now launch any of your video conferencing apps (i.e., Discord, Skype, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, Zoom, etc.), go to the video settings, then choose “DroidCam Source 2” or “DroidCam Source 3” as your default camera.
If you have set DroidCam to capture audio as well, then go to the audio or microphone settings menu in your video conferencing app, and select “DroidCam Virtual Audio” as your default audio input device.
It’s worth noting that the captured video resolution is limited to 480p only, even though your Android device is capable enough to shoot 1080p videos. It’s a limitation you have to deal with the free version of DroidCam, but you can purchase the DroidCamX Wireless Webcam Pro app from the Play Store to unlock 720p HD resolution and higher FPS settings. You also get basic video adjustment tools with the Pro version, along with no advertisements in the Android app.
Guide to use your iOS device as a webcam
The developer of DroidCam has quite recently launched the app for iOS devices, and it does support both iPhone and iPad. The DroidCam client is sadly not available for macOS yet, so you have to stick with a Windows PC for now in order to get DroidCam working. The step-by-step instructions above for setting up DroidCam on Android devices apply to iOS devices as well.
Another alternative to the DroidCam is EpocCam (by Kinoni) for iOS, and it also works on macOS. Simply download and install the required drivers from the official developer’s website from your operating system, then install and launch the EpocCam app from the App Store on your iOS device.
You don’t have to go through any sort of first-time setup process to get EpocCam working. Just make sure that your PC/Mac and iOS device is connected to the same local network.
When you are done setting up the video/audio feed, launch your video conferencing app and select EpocCam as your default video device. When necessary, your PC/Mac will request for the video feed to your iOS device over Wi-Fi connection.
Note that the free version of EpocCam limits the video resolution to 480p and 30FPS. In addition, a watermark is also applied to the video feed. For $7.99, you can purchase the Pro version of EpocCam Pro, which offers 1080p video feed, audio support, additional connection models, manual focus, and zero advertisements/watermarks.
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