How to use smartphone camera to take video calls in PC

For the best of both worlds, one solution is using your smartphone as a webcam while joining a video meeting from a PC

December 27, 2022 11:01 am | Updated 11:02 am IST

File photo of people on a video call with their smartphone

File photo of people on a video call with their smartphone | Photo Credit: AP

Smartphone selfie cameras are usually better than laptop cameras. But to join professional video conferences, joining the meeting from a PC is a must. So, here is how you can get the best of both worlds: use your smartphone as a webcam to join a video call from a PC.

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To arrange this, you should assess which videoconferencing app (or apps) your company uses, as well as the Android, Windows, or Mac/iOS ecosystem you might be using. It is key to find a webcam app that is compatible with your own equipment and ecosystem. Popular choices include apps such as DroidCam and Reincubate Camo. Many of these apps are free but include advertisements. If you want to take it a step further, there are paid versions with enhanced features such as filters, better resolution, image editing controls, and more.

The first step is to use a tripod to keep your smartphone at eye level, or a webcam mount so that your phone is attached to your laptop. Based on the app you choose, you may be able to switch between your front and back camera feeds. There are also apps which offer AI-based features for more control over the image quality and aesthetics. Furthermore, be sure to check the maximum resolution available before investing in an app.

Another feature to take into consideration is the battery life of your smartphone. Connecting by USB to the laptop or desktop is easier on the battery than WiFi.

Once you have the app of your choice, remember to install both the desktop client and the smartphone app. In case they do not sync, try restarting or relaunching both devices.

Test the integration well before your call to make sure that the correct camera feed is being broadcast. You may also need to decide whether to go with the default microphone settings, or the app-based microphone.

Finally, it is advised that you keep the set-up powered during your call, so that your laptop or smartphone-webcam does not abruptly shut down in the middle of a vital interview or program.

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