How to use your phone as a webcam, step-by-step for both iPhone and Android smartphones using completely free software on both Mac and Windows PC.
How to Use Your PHONE as a Webcam (iPhone & Android)
Why should you use a smartphone as a webcam? Well, if you have a modern iPhone or an Android device, this camera sitting in your pocket will far outperform any of the standard webcams available today.
Best apps for using your phone as a webcam
Now there are many different tools and apps to help you with this and I have tried and tested a lot of them. Some of them are absolute rubbish while others work well. So my two top picks right now are Iriun and EpocCam, and you can get great results with either. Now both have a free version available but they also have a paid version where you can remove the watermark and also unlock higher resolution, so higher video quality too. Both work on both Mac and PC, but at the time of filming this video, EpocCam doesn’t currently work on Android, so you’ll need to use an iOS device if you want to use that. If not, if you are on the Android side, then Iriun is the perfect solution for you. As for quality, it is primarily limited by the device used and the capabilities of that device. Iriun on Android will go up to 4K resolutions, while on iOS or with EpocCam you’re limited to 1080P at 30fps, which is still amazing quality. Probably the biggest reason why these two apps are the top two apps is their ease of use, their simplicity, and the price if you want to upgrade to the Pro or the fully unlocked version, but also because of how well they work, both over WiFi as well as via USB. It’s ridiculous how well these work over WiFi and wired with near-zero latency or near-zero lag. Now quick on the pricing to unlock the unrestricted versions of both, Iriun for the Pro version is $4.49 and EpocCam is $7.99. In terms of setup and operation, the process is almost identical for both. So I’m going to walk you through the process of using EpocCam, but you can follow the same process with Iriun as well.
How to set up your phone as a webcam
So just go to the website and download and install the software for your computer. Again, there are links in the description box below. Once this is installed, you should make sure you have downloaded and installed the app on your phone. You should then decide whether you want to connect your phone to your computer via WiFi, so you should make sure they’re both connected to the same network, or whether you want to use a USB cable. Well, as I said, in both cases with these two recommendations, WiFi works ridiculously well. I didn’t think it would work that well. In all my testing and on Mac and PC, there is almost no lag and latency. However, I recommend using a cable wherever possible so your phone doesn’t go flat when using it as a webcam. It can be charged by your computer at the same time. And it also helps you eliminate potential WiFi problems if you are in an area where your WiFi signal is not that good, or maybe there is interference from a neighbor’s WiFi or similar.
How to use your phone as a webcam in live streaming software
For this example, I’m now using an iPhone 12 Pro and using EpocCam. I just opened the app and it’s connected to my computer. So let’s go ahead and open up in OBS. A new video capture device, a new webcam. Now let’s go, ok we can just find this in the drop-down list now. We can see here we have EpocCam. Let’s just change the resolution to high, which is 1920 by 1080. Let’s go, ok. And that in real-time via WLAN. Pretty amazing. As you can see when I pick up the phone and move it around there is almost no lag or very minimal lag over wifi which is amazing. Now if we go to the settings in the app itself, you can see that if we want to connect in this way we can choose automatic connection, WiFi, USB, or NDI and we can indicate our quality. So it is currently set to the best quality, but we can also choose good or fair. So if you’re having connection issues when on wifi or want a lower quality feed, you can do that here too. There is also a built-in green screen in this app. Now if we tap out of that and come back here to the side, then we have the option to flip our screen and mirror our screen. You also have the option to switch between cameras. So when we press that button here, it flips to the rear camera and you can see that I’m currently on the ultra-wide camera. So if we look at how this looks on the computer now, you can see how messy the office is, but we’re getting access to the ultra-wide. Also, if we press the little button at the top again, I can switch to 1x or 2x zoom if you like. That’s way too close. But it’s great that you have access to all the different camera lenses that come built into your camera. Okay, I’m just back in front now. We also have the option to turn on audio and mute the phone sound so you can use your phone as a microphone if needed. And here at the very bottom, the last one is a green screen to make that possible. In my opinion, it’s absolute rubbish and I wouldn’t use it. Even though I don’t have a green screen behind me, it doesn’t work very well. One of the cool features of these two apps, Iriun and EpocCam, is the ability to use the flash on the back of your camera. So if you use the rear camera, the main camera, and the better quality camera, you can also use the flash to illuminate you.
How to use your phone camera on Zoom
So now if we go back to the computer and open Zoom and start a Zoom call, you can see that the right webcam is already preset here for me. But if you don’t see this, you can toggle down here and select your EpocCam or your Iriun camera from here. And again, we’re still connected via WiFi. You can see that there is almost no lag or issues with it. It looks good and yes, amazing. I still use the front camera.