You can use a cell phone as a webcam on your computer. Thanks to applications available for Android, you can take advantage of your old device and lean like a camera connected to the computer, compatible with video conferencing apps.
How to use the cell phone as a webcam on the computer
You can set up an Android phone as a webcam easily thanks to the DroidCam app. It has simple tools, is very easy to configure and even in the free version, does not limit the experience to the point of encouraging the user to buy the Pro version. For the basics, you can do very well without putting your hand in your pocket.
Here’s how to use Droidcam:
- Go to play.google.com and download the DroidCam app to the Android phone you want to use as a webcam;
- Open the application and grant the necessary permissions for it to function, such as camera and microphone access;
- Touch the three dots in the upper right corner and then in “Settings”;
- On the next screen, make settings such as limiting the frames to save battery, or touch “Camera” and choose which one to use, whether the rear (main) or the front (self).
Note that on the home screen DroidCam will display the IP address of the mobile phone, which you will use to access streaming. You can start it by accessing the first address displayed (“http://XXX.XXX.XXX.XX:4747”) by your browser, or by using the desktop app available for Windows and Linux.
Here’s how to use the desktop app:
- Go to www.dev47apps.com and download the version of DroidCam compatible with your operating system;
- Install and open the program;
- Under “Device IP”, enter the IP address of the cell phone displayed by the Droidcam app;
- Click “Start.”
The advantage of the DroidCam desktop is that it allows you to connect your phone to your computer via a USB cable (second button from the top left to right), which reduces the loss of quality in the transmission. There are limitations, of course.
The resolution is not too high and you can only use the cameras in Landscape mode (horizontally). On the other hand, DroidCam is compatible with various computer video conferencing applications. The app is an option to use an old Android as a webcam, but does not serve as a replacement for dedicated cameras, which have good image quality and are relatively cheap in stores.
This method is most suitable for emergency situations. In addition, most of the video conferencing apps have versions for Android ( Skype, Discord, etc.).