Old Phones

AtHome Video Streamer and Camera Viewer

AtHome Video Streamer and Camera Viewer is one of the few apps available that can turn an old smartphone or tablet into a security/surveillance camera. I have been exploring the capabilities, the possibilities, and the downsides of this app as well as testing out the competition. Here are my thoughts on AtHome...

AtHome is not the only app that can turn an old smartphone into a security camera but it is different than the competition. It's different in that it has two apps:

1. the camera app
2. the viewer app

It seems clunky but it's clever. Many similar apps have only one app for both the camera and the viewer which eats up at least 40 MBs. Older phones usually don't have has much internal memory as newer phones and typically the RAM can only handle light apps. By separating the two apps, they are making it possible for older phones to handle the app and lightening the load on both your old and new device.

AtHome Works on iOS and Android

AtHome is one of the few apps with the ability to turn your old devices into a camera that works both on Android and iOS devices. Most other apps only work with Apple. As Android users change their devices more often than Apple users this seems like another smart choice by AtHome.

Once the app is installed it has a lot of potential. It is simple to use and navigate. It's also packed with features like motion detection, live streaming, and two-way audio. With just a tap of a button, you will be able to broadcast your voice on the camera device. Through AtHome you can remotely control devices from the other side of the world. Finally, AtHome plays with multiple devices. It works with smartphones, tablets, Windows PCs, Macs, and IP cameras.

There are just a few issues that may affect your AtHome experience. Sometimes, it is hard to reconnect to a previously connected device. It may ask you to scan the QR Code a few times before you will be able to access it again. That is if you are using the QR code from IP cameras or the code generated by your devices. If you use your email to log in, you may experience a similar problem but it happens less often. Finally, the camera app, even with its low memory and RAM usage, has a tendency to crash. It happened to me twice and there’s no way of remotely opening the app and getting the device online. If the camera crashes you must physically be at the device to restart which is problematic.

Overall, I love this app. It is one of those apps that ask little but delivers big. Do I recommend this app? Of course I do.

You can learn more about AtHome on their website.

Featured Phone: "Then and Now" by Tom Raftery on Flicker under a CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 license.