In this article, we’ll discuss how to use your phone as a webcam in a few different ways: with Android and iOS apps, on a PC with a cable, and without side apps.
|EpocCam||High-quality recordings on iPhone||iOS, macOS, Windows|
|DroidCam||Simple webcam recordings||iOS, Android, Windows, Linux|
|iVcam Webcam||Video calls and online lessons||iOS, Android, Windows|
|NDI HX Camera||Working with NDI devices||iOS, Android, Windows|
|IP Webcam||Surveillance for Android users||Android, Windows, macOS|
|iCam||Surveillance for iPhone users||iOS, Windows, macOS|
|Reincubate Camo||Having precise control over the image||iOS, Android, Windows, macOS|
|NeuralCam Live||Professional work on iPhone||iOS, macOS|
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Movavi Screen Recorder is our special pick for a webcam recorder for Windows and Mac. It’s simple to use, yet packed with features that make it a powerful tool for both beginners and advanced users. It can record your webcam, screen, system and microphone audio and lets you effortlessly achieve your results with the help of editing options. So whether you’re new to screen recording or looking for an upgrade, Movavi Screen Recorder is well worth trying out.
Best programs for using a phone as a webcam
Best for: high-quality recordings on iPhone
OS: iOS, macOS, Windows
Price: a free version with the paid upgrade of $7.99
Reviews on the App Store: 4.5/5 stars, 2 600 reviews
EpocCam is an excellent choice for using a phone as a webcam. It is available for iOS devices and PC, and it's easy to set up. Simply download the app, and you're ready to go. EpocCam works with all major video chat applications, including Skype, Google Hangouts, and FaceTime. Whether you're using it for calls, webinars, or just to keep an eye on your pets while you're away from home, EpocCam is a great option.
- 1080p resolution
- Supports OBS Studio, Zoom, and many other programs
- Wireless connection to PC
- Compatible with both Windows and Mac operating systems
- Fast set-up
- Android devices aren’t supported
- Some users have reported connection issues
Best for: simple webcam recordings
OS: iOS, Android, Windows, Linux
Price: a free version and the paid upgrade of $5.49
Reviews on Google Play: 4.4/5 stars, 111 500 reviews
DroidCam is a great tool that lets you use a cell phone as a webcam for your PC. It's really easy to use, and it works with Skype, Google Hangouts, and other video chat applications.
One of the best things about DroidCam is that it is very easy to set up. All you need is an Android phone and a computer with an internet connection. Once you have installed the app on your phone, all you need to do is connect your phone to your computer via USB or Wi-Fi and follow the instructions on the screen.
Another great thing about DroidCam is that it has a lot of features that other webcam apps don't have. For example, USB-only mode option or phone calls muting. It also has a zoom function that allows you to get a closer look at things.
- Microphone noise cancellation
- Both Wi-Fi and USB connection supported
- No watermarks
- Unlimited usage
- Sometimes PC doesn’t detect the phone
Best for: video calls and online lessons
OS: iOS, Android, Windows
Price: a free version, one-year subscription of $9.99, and the full version of $24.95
Reviews on Google Play: 3.8/5 stars, 53 800 reviews
With iVcam, you can use a smartphone as a webcam on a Windows PC. It's user-friendly and provides good quality video and audio. The app also has a built-in camera roll, so you can easily save your photos and videos. The iVcam app has many features that make it a great webcam for your needs: it has an adjustable resolution of up to 1080p, automatic low-light correction and can even be used as a document camera. If you're looking for an alternative to using your webcam, or if you don't have one at all, then the iVcam Webcam app is definitely worth checking out.
- Portrait and landscape modes
- Customizable frame rate and video quality
- Runs in the background
- High-quality recordings
- Supports all common resolutions
- Contains ads in the free version
Best for: working with NDI devices
OS: iOS, Android, Windows
Reviews on Google Play: 2.5/5 stars, 500 reviews
NDI HX Camera turns your smartphone into a wireless webcam for NDI-supported equipment on the same network. It is extremely easy to use and set up. The app contains a few features to make your life easier, including the ability to flip the camera horizontally for wide-angle shots. Also, a built-in test pattern generator will allow you to quickly check for proper alignment and framing. You can adjust the video resolution and frame rate directly from within the app. With its advanced imaging capabilities, NDI HX Camera is ideal for a variety of uses, including live streaming, videography, and more.
- Front and rear camera selection
- Audio mute
- Easy to use
- Supports resolutions up to 4K
- Automatic NDI device recognition
- Some users have reported problems with camera recognition
Best for: surveillance for Android users
OS: Android, Windows, macOS
Price: free with the pro version of $4.99
Reviews on Google Play: 3.9/5 stars, 99 000 reviews
If you’re wondering how to use a phone as a webcam for PC, IP Webcam is a great option. It's a free app that lets you use your phone's camera as a network camera. Since it doesn't require any special hardware, it's easy to set up and use: you'll need to install the app on your phone and then set up an account with the service. You can use it to check on your kids, make sure your pets are okay, or just see what's going on around the house.
- Night vision
- Sound and motion detection
- Supports multiple video and audio formats
- Contains ads
- The free version puts watermarks on your recordings
Best for: surveillance for iPhone users
OS: iOS, Windows, macOS
Price: $4.99, $19.99, or $49.99 per month depending on the cloud storage size
Reviews on the App Store: 4.4/5 stars, 717 reviews
iCam allows you to remotely monitor your webcam feed on iPhone or iPad over Wi-Fi. With this app, you can use your old iPhone or iPad as a surveillance camera. The app supports a video feed from up to four webcams at the same time. It’s a great way to keep an eye on things while you're away. It's also easy to set up and use, and it gives you peace of mind knowing that you can check in on your home or office anytime, anywhere.
- Automatic motion events backup to the cloud
- Offline mode
- Recordings go to cloud storage and don’t use your hard drive space
- No trial version available
Best for: having precise control over the image
OS: iOS, Android, Windows, macOS
Price: free version, $4.99/month, $39.99/year, the lifetime license of $79.99
Reviews on the App Store: 4.8/5 stars, 1 500 reviews
Camo is a well-versed app for casual and professional work. You can use it for video calls, live streaming, or online lessons. The app is easy to use, and it provides a high level of security and privacy. It is also very affordable, so you can protect your online privacy without breaking the bank. Great customization options let you change your video feed however you please while not complicating the usage.
- Includes support for Zoom, Google Meet, Skype, etc.
- Can operate with multiple iOS devices at once
- Rich customization
- High-privacy usage
- Low latency
- Free version has watermarks
Best for: professional work on iPhone
OS: iOS, macOS
Price: free version, $4.99/month, and $29.99/year
Reviews on the App Store: 4.5/5 stars, 352 reviews
NeuralCam Live is an app that turns your iPhone into a neural network-powered camera. The app uses artificial intelligence to improve the quality of your video, and it’s available for free. To use NeuralCam Live, simply open the app and point your camera at whatever you’d like to take a video of. The app will then analyze the scene and make adjustments to the exposure, white balance, and other settings accordingly. You can also adjust these settings manually if you prefer.
- Gesture guard
- Low-light mode
- Head-bubble mode
- Suitable for amateurs
- Some features are locked behind the paid version
How to use a smartphone as a webcam
If you don’t want to download any unnecessary side apps, it’s still possible to use your smartphone as a webcam. Nowadays, almost anyone has a dedicated program for online lessons or video calls. Most of these apps have built-in features that let you turn a phone into a webcam. Some apps have a direct option to choose your phone as a webcam. Others may not have it, but you could circumvent it, for example, by calling yourself on your phone and turning on the video feed on your computer.
However, if you don’t have such software installed on your device, you can check out some programs with instructions to them below:
How to use an Android phone as a webcam with DroidCam
If you’re an Android user and wondering how to use a phone camera as a webcam, read these instructions:
- Download and install DroidCam on your smartphone and Windows or Linux PC. In the desktop app, allow installing audio drivers.
- Open your desktop app. It will ask you to put your Android phone’s IP address in the Device IP field. To get the IP, open DroidCam on your mobile device, it’ll show in the Wifi IP line at the top of the screen.
- Check the Video and Audio boxes on your desktop.
- In the mobile app, tap the three dots on the top right. Choose between front-facing and back-facing cameras in the Camera section.
- Click the Start button on your PC.
- Open a videoconferencing app and change the default camera to DroidCam Source 2 or DroidCam Source 3 in the settings. Then, go to the audio input or microphone section and select DroidCam Virtual Audio.
How to use an iPhone camera as a webcam with EpocCam
iOS has just as many options as the Android operating system. You can try out EpocCam to set your iPhone as a webcam. Just follow the guide below:
Install the app on your phone. Then, download and install the desktop drivers from the Elgato website.
- Open the mobile app and wait until your iPhone connects to your computer.
- Launch the desktop app you need a webcam for. Choose EpocCam as the webcam in the settings.
- If you’re using a browser-based videoconferencing app, grant it permission to access your webcam.
How to use a phone as a webcam for PC with USB
In this section, we’ll discuss how to connect your Android phone to a PC and use it as a webcam. You can do it in three ways: via Wi-Fi, LAN, or by connecting the two devices with a cable. Here, we’ll look at the latter method, using a Samsung smartphone and the DroidCam app as an example.
- On your phone, go to Settings, tap About phone, select Software information, and tap seven times on Build number.
- Tap the newly appeared Developer options menu in Settings, enable the USB debugging option.
- Connect your PC and phone with a USB cable. Open the DroidCam app on both devices. Click Connect over USB and the Refresh button on your computer – the app should detect the connection. Select it and hit Start.
How to improve video and audio quality in video calls
The popularity of video calls has grown exponentially in recent years, and many people have encountered problems with video and audio quality in their conversations. So here, we have compiled a few tips on how to set up your workplace to improve your experience.
Try not to use speakers when in a video call, otherwise your microphone will capture the voices of others from your speakers, and other people will hear an echo. Using headphones will help reduce it and make it easier for the person you are talking to hear you clearly.
Tweak your microphone sensitivity
If other people have problems hearing you, go to your microphone settings. Sometimes, the default sensitivity of your mic is too low, so increasing it will help a lot.
Mind your lighting
Before joining a call, launch a preview of your webcam video feed and try to find a position where other people can see you clearly. A safe place would be in front of a window – natural light will point towards your face, making the image much clearer.
Adjust your camera angle
Some camera angles can distort your appearance. A good rule of thumb is placing your camera on the same level as your face or a little higher. This way, your face will look thinner, and other people will have a clearer view.
Get a strong Internet connection
Another way to improve the quality of your video calls is to make sure that you have a strong Internet connection. If possible, connect your computer directly to your router with an Ethernet cable for the best results. This will help ensure that there is no lag or buffering during your call. If you use mobile devices instead, moving to the room with your Wi-Fi router will be very helpful – walls can noticeably slow down the Internet speed.
Restart your router or computer
If you are having trouble with the audio or video quality in your video calls, try restarting your computer or router. This can help to resolve any technical issues that may be causing the poor quality as a last resort.
Conclusion: How to choose mobile webcam software
We hope this article has been helpful for you in choosing a suitable program. Sometimes, however, it can be difficult to pick just one app over many others. So, here’s a list of key points you should consider:
Platform: make sure the software works on the platform you’re using (Windows 10, 8, 7; Mac, Linux, Android, iOS).
Connection type: nowadays, most webcam apps go with the wireless connection. But, if you prefer using a USB cable, double-check if the program actually includes such a function.
Reviews: browse through user reviews before purchasing or downloading an app. Other people may have pointed out its important advantages or problems.
Support: be sure to look if the service has accessible customer support. It’ll help you out in case of trouble.
Ben is a writer from the UK with qualifications in Media and Music Technology, he specializes in software reviews and tutorials. Ben has been blogging about media and tech subjects since he was a teenager from his base in the East of England.
Frequently asked questions
How can I use my phone as a webcam?
You can try out DroidCam for Android. Just follow these steps:
Install DroidCam on your phone and PC.
- Open the app on PC and install audio drivers.
- Input your phone’s IP in the Device IP field.
- Check the Video and Audio boxes.
- In the mobile app, choose the front- or back-facing camera.
- Click Start in the desktop app.
How can I use my phone as a webcam via USB?
If you prefer using a USB cable over the wireless connection, try out DroidCam. Read this guide to know how to use an Android phone as a webcam with this app:
Download and install DroidCam on your PC and Android phone.
- Enable USB debugging in the Developer options.
- Connect your Android phone to the PC with a cable.
- Open DroidCam on both devices.
- Click Connect over USB and Refresh on PC.
- Hit Start.
What is the best app to use your phone as a webcam?
Here are a handful of great solutions you can use to turn your phone into a webcam:
- iVcam Webcam
- NDI HX Camera
- IP Webcam
- Reincubate Camo
- NeuralCam Live
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