APP OF THE DAY: IP Webcam review (Android)

Now, what we're going to tell you about requires that we trust you. Because with great power, comes great responsibility. And IP Webcam does give you great power, because it allows you to turn your Android phone into a webcam, one which can stream video over your home network to other devices, including PCs and other Android phones.

This mind-blowing little app is also free, which is a lot of value for a program like this, which is great fun to play with, and could have some more uses in the future.

IP Webcam

Platform
Android

Price
Free

Where
Google Play

For an app like this, setup is surprisingly easy. Once you open the program, you'll be presented with a list of options. At the top are quality and resolution settings. On our Motorola Razr we were able to stream 1080p video without much heartache, we recommend you start on modest settings, and work up to the higher resolutions.

There's not much else to set up, Although there are plenty of options for limiting the frame rate, needing a password/username to log in to the video stream and also enabling the audio mode. At the bottom though, you'll find a button marked simply "start server". Do so, and you're off.

We used other Android phones, and our PC to watch the resulting feed. It's actually very impressive quality, we were really impressed by what we saw. On a PC, the stream web page has lots of options for watching. You can download a simple M3U playlist, which you can then open in a player like VLC, and watch the feed with minimal lag. There are also ways to stream directly in the webpage both with, and without audio.

The applications for this sort of thing are pretty wide. We initially looked into it because we wanted to line-up a satellite dish, and needed to see the signal strength while up a ladder outside. But you could also use it for security cameras, especially if you have old Android phones that you're not using as phones anymore. You could have quite a few of these dotted about. We've even considered it for a cheap video-based baby monitor.

There are even options for you to pick up this stream, via a third-party MJPG driver, in apps like Skype or even chatroulette. Marvellous.