Good webcams are hard to find these days, especially if you’re on a budget. This is especially unfortunate as the Covid-19 pandemic has forced most schools and companies to adopt a more online approach. While there are laptops with integrated webcams, the majority of them tend to have poor overall video quality. However, there is an alternative, and it might be closer than you think. Your iPhone can now double as your webcam for your PC or Mac, and all it requires is an app on your phone and a corresponding app on your computer. Here are three apps that allow you to do so.
Iriun is a free app that allows you to wirelessly use your iPhone or Android phone as a webcam for PC, Mac, and even Linux computers. It is simple to install with the following steps:
Download the Iriun Webcam app on your iPhone through the Appstore, then go to the website to download the app for your respective computer system.
Open the Installer on your computer and install the Iriun app (This installs the necessary driver on your computer to allow it to read your phone).
Connect your iPhone to your computer using your USB-C or Lightning cable and proceed to open the app on both your phone and computer. (Be sure both of them are connected to the same Wi-Fi).
And that’s pretty much it, you should now be able to use your iPhone as a webcam on most if not all of the usual apps that require a webcam. To check if your webcam is working properly, go to devicetests.com.
EpocCam is an application by Elgato that allows an iPhone to be used as a webcam on Windows or Apple computers. It has both a free and paid version. Here are the following steps to install EpocCam:
Download and install EpocCam on your iPhone from the Appstore (EpocCam only works with iPhones with IOS 14 and above)
After the app has been installed, open the app and click Begin. The next page with show you how to set up the driver and app on your respective computer system. Choose the option the matches your system and follow the instructions. (For Windows users, you need to download and install Apple Itunes for EpocCam to work)
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Click next once again if you’re planning to use EpocCam on your device wirelessly (Be sure your devices are connected to the same Wi-Fi)
*If you plan on using it with a wire*
Connect your iPhone to your computer with a USB-C or Lightning cable before you press next. (If using third party cables, check if they have data transferring capabilities)
You will then be asked to enable certain permissions on your iPhone and afterward, you should see a preview of what your device is currently capturing.
Your iPhone should now be ready to use in whatever application you need.
NeuralCam Live is a free app on Mac that allows an iPhone to be used as a webcam for your Mac computers, alongside several features to enhance the experience. Here’s what you need to do to install it:
Find and Install the NeuralCam Live app on the Appstore on your iPhone (The app requires IOS 14 or later)
Open the app and press Start Setup. You will then see a page where you’ll have to allow access to your phone’s camera as well as the NeuralCam Live Drivers that you need to install on your Mac computer which can be sent by Email or AirDrop.
After Installing the Driver on your Mac computer, connect your iPhone to your computer using either a USB-C or Lightning cable then press continue on the app. It should then show you the feed from your iPhone.
You should now be able to use your iPhone as a webcam on your applications that need it.
While all these apps may look identical, there are stark differences between them. Iriun is the only app that allows for both IOS and Android phones to be used however it only connects through a Wi-Fi connection, this means that latency issues may come if your internet speed is not fast. EpocCam on the other hand can be connected through a cable but falls short on video quality with the free version. The paid version though allows for not only a better video output, it also allows the use of the iPhone’s other lenses. NeuralCam Live may be your best choice as it allows the use of the other lenses coupled with many different features while being completely free, its downside lies in that it only works through cable.