How to turn your iPhone into a free high-resolution webcam

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Photo: Nopparat Khokthong (Shutterstock)

Apple makes an average iPhone camera, but when it comes to their Macs, that’s a whole different story. Sure, they’re getting better, with the Mac M1s having the best of the bunch, but there are plenty of Macs with lower quality webcams. If you are using an external display for your MacBook, you may not have a good webcam solution. It turns out, however, that you do-with your iPhone.

Don’t bother with an external webcam for your Mac, or even your PC; as long as you have an iPhone, you already have a webcam. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as connecting your iPhone to your computer and calling it a day, but it’s also not difficult to set up. All you need is a compatible app.

Our choice is EpocCam; this app has a lot to offer, but Best of all, free. Some features are locked behind the paid version of the app, such as full 1080p video, but you might find that the standard video stream that comes with the free version is more than enough for your calls.

How to configure EpocCam as your computer’s webcam

When you open the app for the first time, a welcome screen informs you that you need to install a driver on your Mac or PC. If you are using a Mac, you can AirDrop, email or copy the driver download link. If you are using a PC, you can only choose to email the link to yourself.

On Mac, EpocCam works whether you connect via USB or if you use wifi. This is a great solution if you want to keep extra wires from cluttering your desk. On Windows, however, you will need to connect your iPhone to your PC for EpocCam to work.

Once the driver is installed on your computer, open it and follow the installation instructions. On your iPhone, allow EpocCam to use your device’s camera and network, and you should see a video stream above a “CONNECTING TO YOUR COMPUTER” message. You will need your iPhone and your computer connected to the same wifi network; if everything is set up correctly, full EpocCam controls will appear on your iPhone.

Now all you have to do is launch the desired video app on your Mac or PC and set your camera source as EpocCam. For example, if you are using Messenger for your video calls, click on the three dots and choose the “Device Settings” option. Then click on the menu under Camera and choose EpocCam.

Additional features of EpocCam

Once you have done that, you should see the video stream from your iPhone in your video calling app. You will also find some options on the EpocCam app; tap the triangles to flip your video stream, the camera icon to switch to your other iPhone camera, or the big button in the center to choose between a background blur or a background effect. green screen.

That’s all there is to say about the free app. However, with the paid app at $ 7.99, you get access to the following:

  • Remove watermark
  • Full 1080p video
  • Wide angle camera support
  • Replace your background
  • Choose your connection: wifi, USB or NDI
  • Mic mode only
  • Use your flashlight
  • HDR video streaming
  • Manual focus

Of all the options in the free version, the one that might affect you the most is the watermark. It’s not huge, and it’s is at the bottom of your video feed, but you might find it too boring to use. For many people, however, it is worth it have a free webcam solution if you need it.

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