How to use your Android or iOS device as a webcam

It's hard to find a good webcam, not to mention a webcam, these days. Just to mark time on this post: The coronavirus has displaced a large portion of the American workforce in the homework

How to use your Android device as a webcam
Android phone

Environment. With so many people in need of basic technology supplies, demand for web cameras has increased, and as supply has fallen, prices have suddenly risen.

My colleague Chris Welch has reported this trend, and many of us here at The Verge spent more time (and money) than we wanted to equip Windows 10 or macOS computers at home. Decent camera. 

Fortunately, you don't have to fight the crowd online to spend hundreds of dollars on a webcam that you may or may not use as much when you are on the other side of the epidemic. 

There is an alternative: You may have an Android or iOS phone or tablet (or your current phone).

We’ll start by making your Android phone or tablet work like a web camera for your computer, and then we’ll do the same with your iPhone or iPad. (By the way, you can also easily convert a Wyze speed camera to a webcam, but you'll likely get much better video quality from your device.)

How to use your android phone tablet as a webcam

There are many apps in the Google Play Store that claim to convert your Android device into a webcam. Among the few things I tried, DroidCam offered the simplest setup with the most reliable 

results. I have no doubt that there are smarter and not applicable solutions to achieve this, but for simplicity’s sake, we’ll do it here.

  • Download and install the free version of DroidCam from the Play Store. (It requires a device running Android 5.0 Lollipop or newer software.) The developer, Dev47Apps, makes a desktop client for Windows 10 and Linux (but unfortunately, not for macOS) that you’ll also need to download onto your computer. (Note: I’m focusing on steps to use it with Windows 10 in this how-to.) Make sure that you download version 6.2 since it addresses some issues that might cause a headache if you use an earlier version.
  • After the Android app is installed, focus on getting the desktop app up and running. During installation, you’ll need to allow the app to install audio drivers. Feel free to uncheck “Always trust software from DEV47 APPS” if you prefer.
  • Once the Windows app is running, you’ll see options near the top of the app window that will let you connect your device wirelessly or via USB. It’s actually easier to connect via Wi-Fi so that’s what we’re going to focus on. Thankfully, it’s in that setting by default.
  • Below those options, you’ll see a box where you need to input your Android device’s IP address. At this point, open up the DroidCam app on your Android phone or tablet. It will then show your device’s IP address. Go back to your PC and input that address in the field called “Device IP.”
  • There are two things to do before you hit “Start” in the desktop app. First, be sure both boxes for “video” and “audio” are checked. If the only video is checked, your phone’s microphone won’t pick up your voice.
  • Next, click the three vertical dots in the top-right corner of the Android app to open the settings. There, in the “camera” section, you can choose whether to use the front-facing or back-facing camera. Your back-facing camera is almost guaranteed to be more capable than your selfie cam, so I recommend using that. Most of the other default settings are set to the ideal choice, so you can leave them.
  • Finally, hit “start” in the desktop app to initiate the connection. You should see a preview of the video feed on your PC screen. If you don’t see it, ensure that both your PC and Android device are on the same Wi-Fi network or LAN. My PC is wired to the internet, but it still works wirelessly with my phone because they’re on the same network.
  • Now, simply open up your preferred videoconferencing app, like Zoom, Google Meet, or Skype. In the video settings within each app, switch the default camera to “DroidCam Source 2” or “DroidCam Source 3.” One of those should mirror what you see in the DroidCam Client window.
  • To make your device’s microphone the default input in your videoconferencing app, go to the microphone section in your videoconferencing app (it may be referred to as audio input), and select “DroidCam Virtual Audio.” Once you do that, it should work as intended.
  • A quick aside: if you’re using the front-facing camera for video duties, and for some reason need to grab your phone-turned-webcam to send a text or browse through your contacts, DroidCam won’t stop you. You can collapse the app without interrupting the camera feed.
  • Now, if you’re using a phone, you’ll want to figure out a way to position it at your desk to get a webcam-like angle of your face. For some, this could be the most difficult step. Though, a simple solution for me came in the form of a car dashboard mount that I already had. I own this model from iOttie in my car, and it easily affixed to my glass monitor stand. Its grip spread wide enough to fit a Nexus 6P in a hard case, so practically any phone should fit. The company also makes a model with a suction cup, which should work with most desks.

You may also notice several additional DroidCam X Pro controls in the screenshot below; you will have to pay $ 4.99 to access them. You can do this if you want to support the developer, but you can be 

happy with the free version, which doesn't display watermarks or makes you jump through many hoops.

How to use your iPhone iPad as a webcam

Like Android, many iOS apps claim to be able to convert your mobile device into a webcam. Without ignoring the many options available, but I found that EpocCam (requires iOS 10.3 or later software) 

is the easiest to use, and you don't need to use cables to make it work. It even works with Android, if DroidCam isn't working as you like.

  • Download and install EpocCam from the App Store
  • Unlike DroidCam above, a set of desktop drivers for EpocCam is available for both Windows 10 and macOS. You can head to the developer’s site,, to download them on your machine.
  • After you’ve installed the desktop drivers, there’s technically no app that you need to concern yourself with opening up. Just make sure that your iOS device and computer are on the same Wi-Fi or LAN. Open the mobile app, and finally, launch your videoconferencing app.
  • Every video meeting app that I tried worked seamlessly with my iOS device. Just look for “EpocCam” in the camera settings. Once you select it, you should see a notification appear on your computer confirming that the camera is connected via Wi-Fi. In my case, it said “EpocCam iOS connected using Wi-Fi
  • There are a few troubleshooting steps to take if things aren’t working perfectly from the start. If you’re using a browser-based videoconferencing app rather than a separate computer app, make sure that you give the browser permission to access your webcam. A notification should appear asking you for permission prior to launching the app or conference call. Look for that near the web address bar.
  • Also, in the case of the ever-popular Zoom application, the latest update (4.6.11 at the time this was written) breaks compatibility with EpocCam. Per the top-rated comment on Kinoni’s YouTube video on how to use your iPhone as a webcam on macOS, you’ll need a slightly older version (4.6.7) of the Zoom app for it to recognize your mobile device’s camera as a viable webcam. You can download that version on the site, and this version worked for me, but be aware that you’re using the software at your own risk. There may be vulnerabilities that you expose yourself to both by using older software and downloading it through an unofficial source.

Il y a quelques autres choses à noter sur la version gratuite d'EpocCam. Tout d'abord, son ensemble de fonctionnalités gratuites est beaucoup plus restrictif que DroidCam. Par exemple, pour utiliser la 

caméra frontale sur votre appareil iOS, vous devrez visiter l'application sur l'App Store. De plus, la version gratuite affiche un filigrane sur votre flux vidéo et limite la résolution à 640 x 480 et 30 ips.

In addition, the free version doesn't even allow you to use your device's microphone, so you'll need to connect headphones to your computer with a built-in microphone unless you've found another 

solution. EpocCam Pro removes all these restrictions and adds more features for $ 7.99 on the App Store if you install on an iOS device or $ 5.49 on the Play Store if you want to follow the above steps on an Android phone.

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