I laid my hands upon the iWebcamera Application for iPhone yesterday and was totally amazed. This is one of those applications that not everyone needed, but they will still appreciate it. Let’s take a detailed look at it.
What does it do?
This application will allow iPhone users to use the mobile device as a wireless webcam with their computers. Works both on Windows and Mac computers. Drivers have been released for Windows(XP, Vista & Win 7) and Snow Leopard.
How to get started?
You will first need to purchase the iPhone app from the App Store. It cost me $4.99. Once you have purchased and installed the application on the iPhone, you will need to download the drivers for your operating system from here.
Post installation, connect your computer and iPhone to the same wi-fi network. I connected my iPhone and Macbook to the home router. Did not check it with an Ad-hoc connection, but that shouldn’t produce a hiccup either. The iPhone app will switch its status from “Waiting” to “Connected” once an app on your computer starts receiving the video stream.
As the developer specified, iWebcamera won’t work with Apple’s iChat and Photo Booth for some reasons. This is not this app’s fault. It should work with most other video chat applications. Just head to your chat client’s preferences > Video Settings > Under Camera Sources select “drahtwerk’s iWebcamera.” Once you reach this step you should already be able to see through the eyes of your iPhone.
Streaming video from iPhone to Skype on Macbook
The iPhone app has a very minimal interface and is very much user-friendly. There’s isn’t much to choose from, which falls in place with the habits of an Apple user. A tap on the green button will pause video stream and status light turns amber. A tap again and you’ll be streaming again. You can choose from two video qualities, high-res and lo-res. Anyone can get it to work, be it a ten year old or your mom.
While laptop users won’t largely benefit from this as our macbooks and laptops usually ship with in built webcams. However, those with no in built webcams or desktop users will surely like it. It’s just great to have the ability to move your webcam freely around yourself. I was able to use my iPhone to show people around my room while on Skype, without moving the computer. Like I said, this is a very practical application and I am totally enthralled with its ability.
The best part I liked and which I keep mentioning again and again is the seamless connectivity. You just need to connect to same networks and the app does the rest. Usually, connecting phone cameras to computers is a tedious hack. But here you are, with a webcamera for one-fifth the normal price. You have two advantages. Firstly, you save some money and secondly you get to put your iPhone’s small but efficient lens to more work. Next in our to-do list is look for some nice iPhone stands to keep the cam stable as we video chat. 🙂
It’s a recommended buy. The app does what it promises. The updated version for iPhone 4 and iOS4 has been sent to Apple and should land in the App Store soon. I tested it on an iPhone 3G running iOS 4.0 and it worked perfectly.
Before you make the purchase, please note that this app will only stream video to your computer and not any audio. While, you’re chatting you will still have to use your computer’s microphone for voice inputs.
Let us know how you like the idea of being able to use your iPhone as a wireless web camera and if you are curious too to lay your hands upon the app.