How to Use Your Android As a Surveillance Camera

Nowadays, Surveillance cameras are usually expensive and not necessarily very flexible. For those who want to monitor specific rooms or living areas without a big budget, smartphone apps are a good alternative. Even older smartphones that you don’t use anymore are perfect as a solution with the appropriate surveillance camera app. In just a few simple steps you can turn a mobile phone into a baby monitor or a surveillance camera for your own room in a shared apartment. In this article, we will show you how.

Surveillance apps are often mistakenly compared with location apps and criticized as spying tools. But there is another side to it: when used in a private environment these apps can be extremely helpful.

In most cases, an old smartphone or tablet is placed at the desired location and used as a free surveillance camera replacement. With a second mobile phone, pictures or videos can be retrieved from home at any time.

Particularly popular are free Android apps for using the phone as a security camera. For some providers, instead of a second mobile phone as a camera replacement, a motion detector or an IP camera is connected. Some also offer paid video storage or extra features. We present various ways to monitor your home with Android apps. The download link to the respective app and an indication of possible costs can be found directly in the respective product overview.

Using iOS and iPhone as a Security Camera

The good news beforehand: All surveillance camera apps presented in this article are available as iOS versions for iDevices – many of them even for free. Only the Motion Detector Pro app is not available for iDevices.

Motion Detector Pro

Motion Detector Pro has been specially developed for the secret monitoring of a room. Because the monitoring camera App Motion Detector Pro switches off automatically as soon as the mobile phone moves or a handle is registered to the smartphone.

Basically, the adjustable motion detector of the Motion Detector Pro surveillance camera app immediately triggers the taking of a proof image as soon as motion is detected. This is either stored in the cloud, sent by e-mail or saved on the memory card of the smartphone. In addition, the user will receive a message with a timestamp of when the alarm was triggered.


The surveillance camera app Alfred is not only extremely simple but can also be easily set up. Only one Google Account is needed to verify the app. This serves above all the safety of the users since thus foreign access to the surveillance camera app can be excluded.

The surveillance camera app Alfred is installed both on the camera device and on the mobile device, via which the camera is to be called up. Since the connection at Alfred does not run on a server, but Peer-2-Peer is transmitted, the app is very fast and responds accordingly well.

Thanks to the motion detector and push notification, the user of the surveillance camera App Alfred is alerted to movement and can switch to the camera. An integrated screenshot function allows to catch the perpetrators in the act and to record evidence. The app can be used with several devices at the same time so that users can position different smartphones as cameras in different rooms.

If no movements are registered, the Alfred App automatically switches to sleep mode to protect the mobile phone battery. Nevertheless, a power supply should be connected with permanent use for safety’s sake.

Price and Availability of Alfred App:

In the Google Play Store, the Alfred App is currently the most frequently downloaded surveillance camera app and is therefore listed there under the general name mobile phone as a security camera. In the iTunes Store, it is called Alfred Security Camera. The download is free in both cases, additional in-app purchases are possible. Further information and detailed instructions on the Alfred App are also provided by the Alfred App manufacturer.


The situation is similar to the monitoring app Camio. In addition to the images of an iPhone, Android phones or a computer, Camio also transmits data from IP cameras via 128-bit encryption on the desired smartphone. On request, of course, its owner can still allow other people (eg family members) access to the security app and thus allow flexible monitoring.

In addition, the Camio security camera app can be used to control the speakers of the smartphone via voice transmission. For example, pets can be admonished that are illegally lying on the couch during their own absence.

For households with many different surveillance cameras, the manufacturer also offers a so-called Camio box. Each Camio box can be combined with 3 HD video streams from almost all camera models & NVRs and managed centrally.

Pricing and Availability of Camio App:

Unlike many other surveillance camera apps, Camio offers security programs in various price ranges. The basic version is free and includes live streaming, 2-way chat. It is intended for the cameras of a smartphone, tablet, and browser. The Plus version costs about 10 euros a month and offers 30-day video recording, as well as additional Camio features (Daily, Search, Alerts). It is also suitable for IP cameras. The Pro version provides 90-day video recording, advanced video analytics, and faster support.

The download is free as a Camio iOS version or as a Camio Android version possible. Further information on setup and operation is provided by the Camio manufacturer.

Babyphone 3G

The Babyphone 3G App is not a classic baby cam like other apps. Because even in this case, a smartphone is used to protect the baby to register movements and sounds of the child. Automated then both the parents can be notified as well as songs or voice recordings are played.

Our conclusion: As a security camera app only partially suitable. Nevertheless, the Babyphon 3G app can make the evenings of the parents much more pleasant and stress-free. It is also recommended for travel, but it spares you to carry along several Babycam components. Last but not least, the Baby Monitor 3G Surveillance Camera app is unbeatably cheap and only costs one-tenth of a classic system.

Prices and Availability of Babyphone 3G App:

Who buys the Babyphone 3G Android app pays the equivalent of about 3.10 euros. The Babyphone 3G iOS App costs 4.49 euros. But then she can also transfer images to an Apple TV. The Babyphone 3G manufacturer website also provides tips and tricks for the app.

iVigilo Smartcam

The iVigilo Smartcam Surveillance Camera App is only available for Apple devices. In addition to a good motion sensor and a face recognition software, this security camera app sets above all on ease of use of the functions. The live images are streamed to a server and are therefore accessible from anywhere in the world by means of identification and password.

Pricing and Availability of iVigilo Smartcam

The iVigilo Smartcam iOS app is freely downloadable. In addition, in-app purchases can be made. It is not yet available in the Google Play Store. Many useful application tips are also provided in this case by the iVigilo manufacturer page.

Manything Home Security

Also, the Manything home security surveillance camera app is available exclusively for Apple devices. It not only offers fast room monitoring and motion alerting but also allows two-way communication between an IP camera or an old iPhone and the i-device being used. For example, children or pets can be reminded of abnormalities. So no trip to the cookie jar and no night outing to the fridge remains undetected.

Leave a Comment