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How to use your smartphone camera as a webcam

Smartphone-camera-webcam

Does your boss (or teacher) want your presence in a virtual meeting, but you don’t have a webcam? It’s no big deal because you can use your smartphone as a webcam substitute. Here’s how.

Do you have to invest in a high-def webcam for your video conferencing needs?

In laptops today, most webcams often have 720p video quality captured from 5-megapixel sensors. Those specs, which most smartphone selfie cameras also possess or have even surpassed, are enough for video conferencing. 

Requirements in Zoom and Skype don’t even bother specifying what capabilities your webcam should have, just as long as you have a webcam. What matters more in video conferencing is having a fast, stable Internet connection that’s optimized for Voice over Internet Protocol or VoIP.

So, no, you don’t have to invest in a high-def webcam for video conferencing if you don’t already have one, because your smartphone is already a great alternative.

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How can I use my Android phone or iPhone camera as webcam?

Thanks to apps, we use our smartphones for different things besides phone calls. We’ve been using our handsets for contact tracing, gaming, and dating, so why not use them as webcams? To do so, let’s use the popular app DroidCam, though feel free to use other alternatives in the app stores.

Droidcam-app

Step 1: Get the app from the iOS App Store or Google Play Store.

Step 2: Install the Windows (or Linux) desktop client component of DroidCam here: https://www.dev47apps.com

Step 3: Connect both your smartphone and computer to your local network. You can connect your smartphone wirelessly via Wi-Fi, though for stability you should opt for a wired connection. You can either connect directly to your computer via USB or connect to your network’s router/switch using a USB-Ethernet adapter.

Step 4: When both devices have successfully connected to the same local network, launch the Droidcam app and PC client. In the PC client, enter your smartphone’s IP address (it’s displayed on the app). You should now be able to view your smartphone’s camera feed through the desktop client.

Step 5: With the DroidCam PC client still open in the background, launch your video conferencing app. Look for the settings where you can choose a video source, and select DroidCam.

Laptop-smartphone

Other tips when using your smartphone camera as a webcam

Video conferencing apps such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom and Skype provide an option for you to select a virtual or blurred background if in case you don’t have an actual background that’s conducive for productivity and work meetings.

So you don’t run out of battery, it’s better to have a wired connection for your smartphone, especially for long meeting sessions.

If you’ll be using your smartphone as a webcam often, a sturdy tripod might be a good investment. And if you don’t like picking up your phone to check for notifications or send messages while it’s being used as a webcam, consider apps that let you remotely access your smartphone. Some good examples are Samsung Flow and Microsoft’s Your Phone.

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