This tip may sound strange, but it works.Set up your webcam or your phone camera to record a video of yourself studying.The idea is to create accountability.Instead of having a friend check on your progress, you have a camera watching everything you do.Knowing that you are being watched will remind you of your objective.Just when you’re about to get distracted, you’ll remember that everything you’re doing is being recorded.It’s a useful reminder to yourself that you’ve made a commitment to study.
How to Video Call With Just Your Phone
Before trying to convert your smartphone into a webcam for your computer, it might be obvious to just try using your smartphone to run a video meeting by itself. Most services like Zoom, Google Meet, and Microsoft Teams have Android and iPhone apps available. All you need to do is install the app, log in, and use your phone’s selfie camera and microphone to be a part of the meeting.
Whether you do this or follow our methods below, invest in a small tripod to prop your phone up so you don’t have to balance it against a pile of books. The Joby GripTight is a popular and affordable tripod with legs that can contort to stay stable on almost any surface, though a height-adjustable tripod like this might be a better pick. Lume Cube’s Mobile Creator Lighting Kit is also solid, and comes with a light panel to brighten up your face.
Ways to Use Your Phone as a Webcam
You can use a videoconferencing app on your phone if you just need to sit in a meeting and chime in now and then, but you’ll need a better system if you’re presenting and have to share your screen. That’s where it could help to convert your smartphone into a webcam if you don’t have one for your desktop, or if the one in your laptop isn’t working or sits at a strange angle.
General tip: Make sure your preferred videoconferencing app is closed when you’re installing a webcam client on your desktop PC or laptop. You may need to relaunch the app or restart your computer to get it all working.
How to Use Any Phone as a Webcam for a Windows PC
If you’re on a PC running Windows and you use an Android phone or iPhone, one of the easiest (and wireless) methods is to use an app called DroidCam. It also works with Linux.
DroidCam is free, but it hides a few features like better video quality, contrast and sharpness tools, and more in its DroidCamX app on Android, which also gets rid of ads on the app. You can unlock similar features by using the Upgrade feature in the iPhone app’s settings. Try the free version first, but it might be worth the $5 if you use it a lot.
Steps to Set Up DroidCam:
Download the app from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store on your phone. Your Android phone needs to be running Android 5.0 or higher. To check, go to Settings > About Phone > Android version. iPhones need to be on iOS 9 or later, and you can check by going to Settings > General > About > Software Version.
Download the Windows client on your computer. Follow the setup wizard’s installation instructions.
You should see the DroidCamApp icon on your desktop. Double-click it to open it. Open the app on your Android phone and give it permission to access your camera and microphone. Make sure your desktop and phone are connected to the same Wi-Fi network. It also works if your desktop is connected via Ethernet.
On the phone app, you will see some numbers after Wi-Fi IP and DroidCam Port. Enter these values into the fields on the PC software that say Device IP and DroidCam Port. Make sure both Video and Audio are checked off. Hit Start. The phone app will launch the camera, and you’ll be able to see the feed on the PC client.
To get it to work with your videoconferencing software, you’ll always need to launch the DroidCam PC client and app first (steps 4 and 5 above). Then, go to your videoconferencing app’s settings and change the camera and microphone input to DroidCam and DroidCam Virtual Audio. It should immediately start using your phone’s hardware.