With most of us working from home, online meetings and video conferences are the only way to stay connected with colleagues and teammates. For a meeting to go with ease, you need to have all the things in place — microphone for seamless audio, good speakers, and more importantly, a webcam. If you do not have a webcam, there's a clever workaround. Well, you can use an Android phone's camera as a webcam.
So, until you buy a standalone webcam for your PC, here's how you can use your Android phone's camera as a laptop camera.
We will be talking about two Android apps that make it possible. The first app on our list DroidCam while the second is IVCam.
One of the prerequisites of these apps is that your smartphone and PC needs to stay connected to the same Wi-Fi network. So, unless your PC comes with a network card (see USB Wi-Fi adapters), this method won't be possible.
Now that we have established that, let's get going, shall we?
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How to Use Android's Camera as a Laptop Webcam
Method 1: Via the DroidCam App
Step 1: Since you will be linking your PC to your Android smartphone, you will need a dedicated app/client on both your PC and smartphone.
To install the DroidCam Windows client, click on the link below.
Step 2: Once both the apps are installed, open the Windows client, and click on the Wi-Fi button at the top. Here, you'll see the option to enter the Device IP.
Open the app on your phone, and it will display all the relevant details.
Step 3: Copy the IP address to the PC and check both options for Video and Audio. After establishing a link, you will be able to see a preview of the video on your PC.
By default, the back camera of the phone is selected.
To switch over to the front camera, tap on the three-dot menu of the phone app. Select Settings > Camera, and select Front from the list of options.
Apart from that, you can also opt to change the FPS of the video footage to save battery.
On the Windows client, there are options to tweak the brightness, zoom factor, or to rotate the camera. However, all of these features are paid.
But wait, that's only half the job done. You will need to configure this new webcam on video conferencing software like Zoom and Skype.
How to Configure on Zoom
The process of switching over to the mobile webcam in Zoom is thankfully a simple. To do so, open the Settings menu by clicking on the Cog-shaped icon on the upper-right corner and select Video from the list of options.
Next, select the option for DroidCam Source under the My Video drop-down.
How to Configure on Skype
When it comes to Skype, the app doesn't work on the stock version of Skype. The option to switch to DroidCam doesn't show up in the menu.
The workaround is to download Skype from the Skype site directly. After logging in, head over to the Settings by clicking on the three-dot menu on the right.
Here, select Audio & Video, and click on the little drop-down menu on the upper-right corner.
Select DroidCam from the menu, and that's it! You have a new webcam in the form of your smartphone.
Note that using your phone's camera as a webcam will have a significant impact on its battery life, especially if the meeting stretches on for hours. But thankfully, DroidCam gives you the option to switch off the phone's display after a certain time. You will find this option in Settings.
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Alternative: e2e Soft iVCam
Another app that you can give a shot is the iVCam app by e2eSoft. This one also works over Wi-Fi.
Unlike the above app, you do not have to bother about adding the IP address manually. Instead, the phone app finds the computer (on the same network) running the same software automatically, similar to the file-sharing apps. So that makes things a little easy.
To get this app running, you will need to download the app on your PC and phone, respectively.
Once you have installed the app, launch the apps to activate the Discovery mode. Device discovery is instant, and you'll be able to see the video preview on your phone as well as on the Windows client.
Unlike DroidCam, iVCam's options are easily accessible. For example, if you want to switch over to the front cam, you can do right from the home page.
How to Configure on Skype and Zoom
Configuring iVCam both for Zoom and Skype is as easy as pie.
You need to go to the Video settings of the respective apps and switch to the video feed from the iVCam app.
Zoom users will find the option under Settings > Video > My Video.
Skype users will find the option under Settings > Audio & Video > Camera.
Did You Know: You can restore Skype chat history?
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Make the Most of Your Camera App
The camera on our smartphones can do wonders. Whether it's something as trivial as measuring distances between objects or capturing the prized moments of your life. In this era of never-ending tech innovations, the list is almost endless.
Other than the above, the mobile camera can be used in many different ways. Read the article below to get the most out of it.
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