View iPhone video on Mac in real time?


(Simon) #1

Is there a simple way, ideally using built-in/included software, to get a live video feed on the Mac showing what the iPhone camera sees? Basically, I want to use my iPhone as a video camera and see the result on my Mac’s big screen rather than the small iPhone display. Both devices would be on the same wifi. The footage doesn’t have to be saved. A bit of lag wouldn’t be an issue. Any ideas?


(Simon) #2

I might add that obviously FaceTime or Skype would do this, but I suppose you’d need two accounts to get that to work. I have only one with either service so no dice.


(Tommy Weir) #3

There’s a whole bunch of apps that do this, if you search for webcam apps on the App Store you’ll get a ton.

I have used in the past an app which echoed live switching in television, up to four video sources, other iPhones all streaming to an iPad which can record and mix between them. But expensive and not direct to a Mac which is what you’re looking for.


(fahirsch) #4

I believe that what you are looking for is Reflector. Not free.
I have used it occasionally to guide another person to do something on their iPhone. It mirrored the iPhone to the other person’s Mac and via Skype i could see it on mine. Awesome!
Francisco


(Curtis Wilcox) #5

I don’t think Simon wants Reflector, he wants what the iPhone’s camera sees, not what the iPhone’s screen displays (BTW, you can mirror an iOS device’s screen on a Mac for free by connecting it by USB, opening QuickTime Player, choosing New Movie Recording, and selecting the device as the “camera”). I suppose screen mirroring could achieve Simon’s end with the iOS Camera app left open but it sounds like there are iOS apps that are meant to do what Simon wants.

I would probably just get a second Skype account and use one on the phone and another on the Mac. Or do the same with another service, like Google Hangouts.


(Simon) #6

That’s correct. I did remember the QT Player trick and wanted to go that route, only to then realize it doesn’t work over wifi. At least that makes it consistent with Image Capture which also requires a USB-connected iPhone.

In this case that USB cable would have to be quite long so I’d prefer a wifi solution. I’ll see what apps I can find using the webcam tag Tommy mentioned. Thanks, folks.


(Simon) #7

Instant Webcam sounds exactly like what I’m looking for. It’s just $2 so I guess I’ll try that.

By the way, have you guys ever successfully used “You May Also Like” on the App Store? While looking at Instant Webcam I decided to scroll through that area hoping to see more similar apps. Except for a single instance, no other app it displayed was remotely similar to this app. Ironically, the one app that was related wasn’t even listed towards the top. Hopefully, this was just bad luck and not indicative of AS search performance in general. With all the AI talk coming out of Apple recently, you’d expect something as simple as this to work better.


(Curtis Wilcox) #8

Interesting, so Instant Webcam runs a web server on your iOS device that you can visit using any web browser on any other device (that can reach the iOS device’s ip address). Decoding MPEG1 using JavaScript makes the device with the browser work harder but watching their longer demo video (of Big Buck Bunny) didn’t make my fans kick in. The iOS device would probably be sending higher resolution video than their sample so the Mac would probably have to work harder.

iPCamera - High-End Network Camera (yes, that’s the full app name) looks like it’s also accessed in the browser but based on an article that describesusing iPCamera with VLC and OBS, it uses more standard video streaming methods. Its list of You May Also Like apps appear to be more closely related to it than what you found for Instant Camera.


(James R Cutler) #9

Do these apps work on an IPv6 network?


(Curtis Wilcox) #10

Supporting IPv6-only Networks: “Starting June 1, 2016, all apps submitted to the App Store must support IPv6-only networking. A majority of apps will not require any changes as IPv6 is already supported by NSURLSession and CFNetwork APIs. However, if your app utilizes IPv4-specific APIs or hard-coded IP addresses, you will need to make changes.”

The two apps mentioned have been updated since 1-Jun-16 but it’s possible there’s something within the web serving part of them that expects IPv4. The apps from this developer explicitly state “full IPv6 support” in their descriptions.


(frederico) #11

I can’t find it at the moment, but years ago I had access to a USB host/hub that then connected via WiFi and Ethernet and could be “seen” as a direct USB port (using additional software) on a Mac. For the life of me, I can’t remember it’s name. It was lousy over WiFi for high bandwidth devices, but WiFi was also pretty lousy then; it worked great on just a 10/100 Ethernet connection; I imagine if such a device existed today in USB 3.0 or even USB 2.0 over gigabit or 802.11 n it could be useful.

We did, in fact, use it with inexpensive USB webcams for monitoring an office waiting area, amongst other oddball tasks.

In theory, QT should see an iPhone in this manner, just as QT saw those webcams.

Not free, of course, but I worry about those iOS camera servers; I’m not a fan of any server on my device from a vendor I’ve probably never heard of. Is it really private and secure? Are you technically inclined enough to be certain?