You probably have more than one old phone tucked away in a drawer somewhere. You probably broke it or just wanted to upgrade. Whatever the reason might be, if your phone turns on, it has a purpose as a security camera.
That´s right; your phone might not have the latest features on the market, but it can help you keep a close eye on what is going on at home. I recently did that with an old Galaxy S3 that was just collecting dust in one of my drawers, and I want to show you how I did that.
How to Turn Your Android Device Into a Security Camera
To get things started, download the Home Security Camera Alfred. It’s free, and it´s waiting for you to download it.
The first time you launch the app, it will show you all the things the app can do, as an intro to the app. You will need to decide what you want to use the phone for. If the phone you installed the app on first will be the viewer or camera. Then you will need to download the app on another phone to complete the process.
In this case, your old Android device is going to be the camera. Don´t worry if you don´t see anything but black don´t panic; that´s how it’s supposed to work. Only point it in the direction you want to watch, and the app will be recording.
Now let’s take a look at the phone you’re using as a viewer. You should now see something like this:
The top rectangle is what your old Android is recording. You will also see the model that is being used, date, time and how much battery the camera phone has.
When I tested out the app, I left it recording or two hours at 75% battery. The battery didn´t last the two hours I needed it too, but I think that if it had been fully charged it would have made it.
How to Open Alfred´s Hidden Menu
When you´re viewing the camera, you will see a microphone and video icon. To the right, you will see an arrow, tap on it to open the hidden menu. You will various icons that give you some useful features such as:
You will see various icons that give you some useful features such as:
- Moon – The moon icon turns on night mode. If you ever want to use your old Android phone as a baby monitor, you can!
- Flashlight – The flashlight icon turns on the phone on the camera phone and not the viewing phone. You can quickly turn the flashlight on or off by tapping this icon.
- Arrow Surrounding a Camera – With this option, you can either record from the front or rear facing camera.
- Device Facing Sideways – This option lets you rotate the image you are viewing.
How to Record Audio from Security Camera
As I mentioned earlier, when you open the app to view you see the camera and microphone icon. By long-pressing on the camera icon, you can record what you are looking at. The downside is that the videos can´t be long, so if you need to record something for a decent amount of time you have to keep pressing the button.
The videos you record will be saved on the app, and you can access them by tapping on the play icon when you first launch the app. You can also view your recording by pressing the circle that appears to your left when you are viewing. On the app, your videos are called Moments.
If you want to share what you have recorded onto your Facebook account or share it from an app on your phone, you can do that too.
The microphone icon lets you talk, so your voice is heard on the other device. For example, if your dog is reaching for something he shouldn´t press the icon and what you usually say to him when he/she does these things.
Personalize Alfred in Settings
On the upper right-hand corner, you will see three vertical dots. Tap on those dots to access Settings and all its goodies. In Settings, you can turn the motion detector on or off or set it sensitivity. You can either set it to Low, Medium or High.
The app can also remind you to turn off the motion detector when you´re home. By toggling on Events, you can know when the camera device is running low on battery, but it would have been nice if it told you how much more minutes or recording time you have left. The app will automatically send you a notification.
With Auto Night Vision, the app automatically turns the feature on when it has gotten dark, so you don´t have to. Don´t forget to give the cameraphone a name such as Molly´s Room or My Man Cave.
The app is perfect for keeping everything under control, but there are a few things I would add. Besides telling you how many minutes of recording time you have left on a low battery, it looks like there is no way for the camera phone to stop recording.
When you´re done recording, you want the app to stop. On the phone that is being used as a camera, no matter what you do, the camera always seems to be running. The only way I found to make it stop was to uninstall the app.
I also noticed that my phone was really hot after using it for a few hours. I guess I forgot it´s not an actual security camera and that it can heat up. My phone didn´t suffer any damages, but the heat was too much in my opinion. Do you think you´re going to give the app a try? Let me know in the comments.