What kind of smartphone are you using

Advisory: How to use your smartphone as a webcam

Video chats via a webcam are essential for home office and home schooling, among other things, but many people also like to chat privately over the large computer screen. But what if you need a webcam and don't have one at hand? The smartphone can also provide a remedy in this regard with special apps.

There are different solutions for Android and iOS with which the cell phone can be transformed into an internet camera. We took a closer look at four such apps and describe their setup and features.

Smartphone webcam app # 1: DroidCam

Image: Andre Reinhardt The classic DroidCam requires an Android smartphone and a computer with Windows or Linux. First install the respective software on the mobile device and the computer. The connection can be made wirelessly via WLAN or wired via USB.

After starting the two applications, the desired transmission type is selected. It should be noted that with a WLAN connection, the smartphone and PC must be in the same network. DroidCam is available for 4.99 euros or free with limited functionality. DroidCam PC
Image: Andre Reinhardt For example, the zoom function and night mode are reserved for the paid version. Even in the free version, no watermark is a problem. The battery level display of the connected phone on the computer and the anti-flickering option of the mobile phone app are practical.

In our test, we were able to access all cameras of the mobile device in the smartphone app with a Galaxy Z Fold 2 5G and a Windows 10 PC. Both the picture and the sound worked flawlessly in Skype. DroidCam Skype
Image: Andre Reinhardt

Smartphone webcam app # 2: Iriun webcam

This program requires an Android mobile device and a computer with Windows, MacOS or Ubuntu. There is also a simple set-up process for Iriun Webcam, simply get the applications for the mobile phone and the computer, start them and decide on a type of transmission (Wi-Fi / USB). Iriun webcam
Image: Andre Reinhardt The pricing is identical to that of the competitor product described above. The range of functions is not restricted in the free version, but it is only rudimentary anyway. Only a small watermark is displayed on the free edition. Iriun webcam PC
Image: Andre Reinhardt The program delivers a crisp, sharp image. If the smartphone camera supports it, a resolution of up to 4K is possible. We were also able to select all the mobile phone snaps in this app. Unfortunately, there is no battery level indicator in the PC software. In Skype, the software did its job without any problems. Image and sound were transmitted reliably. Iriun webcam Skype
Image: Andre Reinhardt

Smartphone webcam app # 3: XSplit Connect: Webcam

With this app, Android and iOS users alike come into play. However, the required computer operating system is limited to Windows 10 (64 bit). As usual, the smartphone app and the PC application are installed and started first. Then select your mobile phone in the calculator software. XSplit Connect: Webcam
Image: Andre Reinhardt A connection permission is required between the two devices, which you have to agree to. There is also an optional registration option. XSplit Connect: Webcam can also be used as a professional tool with broadcast function for individuals and companies. XSplit Connect: Webcam PC
Image: Andre Reinhardt For this you need a license (from around 6.60 euros per month) with which the watermark can also be removed. But even without this subscription, the program was successful. Partly due to the possibility of removing or replacing the background of the video. Unfortunately, the user can only choose between the front and main camera. The software was recognized as a webcam in Skype, but not as a microphone. However, this can also be due to our setup.

Smartphone webcam app # 4: IP webcam

XSplit Connect: Webcam Skype
Image: Andre Reinhardt For this application you need an Android phone and a Windows operating system on your computer. As the name suggests, it is an IP-based solution. Accordingly, contrary to the other solutions presented, there is no USB connection. First of all, you have to install and start the appropriate app on the mobile phone and PC for IP webcam.

Entering the IP in a browser on the computer opens a preview with numerous setting options, including motion detection and camera options such as ISO or exposure. IP webcam
Image: Andre Reinhardt Nerven the advertising in the mobile phone app and the watermark for recorded videos, the Pro version must be purchased. This strikes at 5.49 euros. In our test, we were able to get picture and sound in the browser window of the computer, but the cooperation with Skype did not work. This problem may also be due to our configuration. IP webcam PC
Image: Andre Reinhardt