Stuck without a webcam? Here's how to use your cellphone or tablet as a replacement
- Webcams have become hot ticket items in South Africa, with so many people working from home.
- Many of the best webcams are out of stock at the moment – but you can use your smartphone or tablet as a replacement webcam.
- Even if you have a built-in camera in your laptop, chances are your phone camera is better.
- There are a host of apps to help, with popular ones including DroidCam, iCam, and EpocCam.
- For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.
Finding a webcam right now can be tough. As South Africans have had to adapt to working from home, webcams have flown off virtual store shelves.
Luckily there’s a relatively easy solution: using your cellphone or tablet as a webcam.
On average, cellphones tend to sport better cameras than laptops, so you may get better qualify picture on those video-conference meetings.
For starters, you can simply download a chat app such as Zoom, Skype or Discord to your phone. But if you want to use your desktop, there are a few options. All require you to download software to your phone, as well as your desktop. Once the phone or tablet camera is synced, simply prop it up somewhere convenient, and you’ve got a brand new webcam.
Here are some popular app options for turning your cellphone into a webcam.
DroidCam: simple, but not for Macs.
DroidCam has gained praise for its ease-of-use and no-fuss setup. It’s available for PC and Linux – but not Mac.
For Android phones, simply download DroidCam from the Play Store. For Apple Phones, get if from the App Store. You’ll then need to download a desktop version onto your computer. Follow the installation prompts, including whether you want to run it over USB or wirelessly. Finally, when everything its connected up, open your preferred chat app and make sure to select DroidCam as your video source.
iCam: you'll probably have to pay.
iCam works with Android and iOS phones, and with both Windows and Mac desktops. It doesn't have a free trial, unfortunately, but it does mean you won't be limited to a certain resolution, or have to pay more to enable microphone access.
As with other apps, you can stream over WiFi or connect via USB. Download the app to you smartphone, and then download the software to you desktop.
EpocCam: best for iPhone, not available on Android.
If you’ve got a iPhone, EpocCam might be your best bet. It supports both Mac and PC – but there’s no version for Android phones. You’ll be limited to only using the back camera of your iPhone, but if you leave a rating, you can use both front and back.
It’s also got a paid version that ups the resolution, and allows you to use iPhone features such as pinch-to-zoom.
iVCam Webcam: free, but only for low resolution.
iVCam is free, but only has 640x480 resolution. If you want HD quality, you’ll have to splurge on the paid version. It works with Android and iOS devices, but is limited to Windows PCs.
(Compiled by Edward-John Bottomley)
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