Having a dedicated separate webcam is a luxury most people don’t have, which is particularly important nowadays.
School, work, hobbies, etc. are all moving or partially moving online, and having a camera helps immensely with the “lost” human connection.
Webcams are a great option but are usually not included with desktop PCs, which for some is the only computer they or their family has.
However, buying a dedicated webcam can be very expensive, and usually too expensive if you want good quality.
There is another way though. If you have an old iPhone or Android, you can use that as a webcam and connect it to your computer for free.
It only requires that you can install an app on your old phone and a program on your PC.
Step 1 (Get the apps):
Go to the app store for your phone and search for “Droidcam”.
The logo of the app is green and has a small white webcam on it.
Download the app by pressing the install button.
Step 2 (Get the PC program):
Either search for Droidcam online or go to this LINK and press download for your operating system.
Then open it and follow the instructions on the installer.
Now you have the PC program installed and it should be ready to go, but if not, find the program and open it.
Step 3 (The connection):
On the PC program, you will see 3 tiles on the top, but you will only need the first one that looks like a Wi-Fi symbol.
You will then be asked to write the “Device IP” and the “Droidcam Port”.
Open the app on your phone and wait until both the IP and Port shows up on a black background.
When the two numbers are on the phone screen, type them into the PC program and press “Start”.
You will now see the camera feed both on your phone and on the PC program, which means that it works.
Step 4 (Everyday use):
For me, I used this app for an entire year of online school, so I had it plugged into the charger all the time, so it wouldn’t die in the middle of a presentation or a test.
I would recommend this too, as the app does take a lot of battery.
The app works perfectly with Zoom, Google Meet, Skype, and Microsoft Teams, and will show up with a random name like “camera 3”.
If the camera doesn’t seem to be showing up in Zoom, Google Meet, etc. then try to go into the program settings and change the video source.