Due to the pandemic, many people work from home. This means that people will need to use webcams in order to virtually participate in meetings and other events.
The higher demand for webcams means that prices for them are increasing. It may not be possible to spend the money on a new one. A dedicated webcam may not be the best option if you only use it occasionally.
No matter what your reason, even if you don’t want to spend a lot on a webcam you can still use your Android smartphone as a webcam. You can easily turn your phone into an internetcam with an app.
This can be done wirelessly or using a cable. Each method has its advantages and disadvantages. In this post, I will show you both these methods to use your Android phone for a webcam on your PC.
You can wirelessly use an Android phone to be a webcam for your PC.
An Android app can be used to connect your phone and PC on the same network. The phone camera can then be used as a Webcam. Your Android phone will be registered as a webcam by the app. This means that all apps that check for webcam availability on your computer will use your Android smartphone camera.
Before I show you how to set it all up, it is important to understand the pros and cons of wireless connections.
- You have complete control over the position and movement of your phone camera. It can be moved to another room.
- Because you don’t need any special permissions, it is much easier to set this up.
- Due to limitations in wireless connections, there will be inevitable latency.
- The strength of wireless signals (the signal strength from the device, not the internet), can have an impact on the quality and quantity of video. This can lead to higher latency or frame skips.
Let’s now learn how to use your Android phone as a webcam on a PC. You can use many Android apps, but DroidCam is the best and most reliable. It’s also very easy to use.
Tip You can use your phone’s Hotspot feature to establish a wireless connection if you’re not near a WiFi network. Simply connect your computer to the hotspot on your phone and follow these instructions (mobile data is not required).
Set up wirelessly using DroidCam
DroidCam must be installed on your Android phone and PC. Get the app for your phone, and then download the client from the website .
Start the apps on your phone and PC, and then follow these instructions.
- Both the phone and your PC must be connected to the same network.
- You will see DroidCam port and Device IP in the phone app. These details should be kept in mind.
- Select Connect over Wi-Fi now. Enter the Device IP, DroidCam port values that you see in the phone app.
After that, you can hit the start button and the video from the phone will begin to show in DroidCam. You can use the webcam with any service or app by selecting DroidCam in its interface.
To use the phone’s webcam, you must keep the PC client open. You can still close the phone application, as it will continue to work in the background. You can either close the PC client, or tap the menu in the top-left corner of the phone app to select Stop.
You can use your Android phone as a webcam for your PC using a USB cable
A wired connection will work better if you don’t need any latency. It is much more reliable than wireless connections because the quality of the USB cable connection is not affected by external factors.
This method has the opposite advantages to wireless connections. Although you get better connectivity with less latency, this method limits your freedom to move your phone because the USB cable’s limit on its length. To make it work, however, you must enable USB Debugging on the phone.
DroidCam can also connect via a USB cable. We will use this feature of the DroidCam app. You will need to follow the steps below.
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Enable USB debugging
USB debugging allows a computer to gain access to more secure areas/features on your phone, such as control over the camera. To make this setup work you will need to enable it. Unfortunately, USB debugging for Android phones varies depending on the Android version and the manufacturer.
It is important to enable developer option on your phone, and then allow USB debugging within it. You can enable USB debugging on Samsung and Xiaomi phones, which are the most popular brands. However, if your phone is not listed here, you can search online for exact instructions.
Warning! Enabling USB Debugging can pose a security risk. This feature can be used by hackers to steal data from your phone. After enabling USB Debugging, make sure you do not connect to any public computers and then immediately disable it.
Enable USB debugging on Samsung phones
- To enable developer options, go to Settings > Phone > Information. Tap 7 times on the Builder number option.
- The Settings will now contain a new Developer options entry. It is possible to open it and activate the USB debugging option.
Allow USB debugging to be enabled on Xiaomi phones
- To enable developers’ options, go to Settings > Phone > All specs. Tap 7 times on the MIUI option.
- Next, tap on the Additional Settings option within the Setting. Then go to Developer Options to enable USB Debugging.
After USB debugging has been enabled, follow these instructions to use DroidCam for your phone to act as a webcam over a USB connection.
DroidCam is used to set up USB cables
Turn on DroidCam on your phone and connect a USB cable. To detect the USB connection, click on your PC’s Connect over USB and then click on the Update buttons.
The app will detect the USB connection after a brief delay and display it in the drop down menu. To use your Android phone as an webcam, select it and click the Start link.
You can use the same wireless connection as DroidCam to set up a webcam in any app that requires one.
An Android phone can be used wirelessly as a webcam. WiFi access and latency are not uncommon for Android phones. Personally, I found that the best performance was achieved when the phone and PC were connected via hotspot rather than my WiFi router. The USB connection is sufficient for those who desire a flawless connection.