Need to do that online video interview and you don’t have a webcam? It’s a device that isn’t always necessary but, like anything else you don’t own, you only need one when you don’t have it. Fortunately, it’s rather easy to use your Android device as a webcam, with some free apps and a network connection. Just follow along with our step-by-step instructions below and you’ll be all set!
Why Use Your Android Device as a Webcam?
There is a number of reasons why you wouldn’t keep a webcam linked to your computer at all times and just use your phone to replace it. Unless you’re using a laptop, in which case you probably have a webcam anyway.
Here are some of those reasons:
- You only use Skype and other video chat apps rarely, so the investment wouldn’t be worth it.
- You have an Android phone you’re no longer using lying around, so why not give it a purpose?
- You don’t want to have a camera permanently hooked to your computer, as you have security concerns. Since there are viruses which try to get access to your webcam in order to get compromising footage, the easiest way to prevent it is to just use your phone as a webcam only when needed.
- Even if you were planning on buying a webcam at some point, this solution is free.
How To Use Your Smartphone as a Webcam:
As I told you, the only requirement is for the phone to be connected to a Wi-Fi network or to have a mobile data connection (in the latter case, an unlimited data plan is also a must).
1. Install IP Webcam from the Google Play Store. The app is free.
2. Install IP Camera Adapter on your PC. You can get it from here; it’s free, too.
3. Run IP Webcam on your Android device. Start by setting the resolution you want, frames per second and orientation.
4. Set a username and password. If you’re using the app over the internet, this is a must (you wouldn’t want everyone to able to access the camera); there may also be apps that require it.
5. If everything looks good, tap Start server.
5. Now, the image you’re currently streaming will be shown on your screen. Below it is an IP and port. Write that down.
6. Now, type the address and port in a web browser (you will be asked for your login and password, if you’ve set one). You will be given a range of options and you can already view the stream in a player like VLC – just save the file and open it.
This can easily be used to monitor a room, or the baby, or whatever else you want (using the app over a cellular data connection will allow you to do it remotely, as the IP will be an internet one rather than a local one).
7. You can even use some remote controls to tweak the image, like turning the LED on or off, or taking a full-resolution picture.
8. If you want to use the camera in a video chat app, like Skype, start IP Camera Adapter on your PC (you’ve installed it earlier). Type in the IP and port, as well as your login and password, if you’ve set one. When you click apply, you should be told that the camera works, if the data is correct.
9. Normally, now you would have just selected your camera in Skype. Unfortunately, newer versions of Skype might crash the instant you try to select a MJPEG camera. You can skip this step if you like and come back to it if things don’t work.
The solution I’ve found involves installing yet another software, called SplitCam, which you can get for free here. Once installed, run it and, under its File menu, go to Video source and select MJPEG camera. You should see the video feed in SplitCam.
10. Once that’s done, run Skype. In the top menu, go to Tools, then Options.
11. And then, under Video settings, select MJPEG Camera. Things should work now.
If you don’t have a webcam laying around, you can now use your Android smartphone or tablet as one. It may not be as simple as we’d like it to be but, with a little effort, you can get things to work. We hope you found this lesson helpful! Thanks for reading and please let us know if you have any questions by leaving a comment below.