Top 10 challenges of using an external camera with Android device

Webeecam” is an Android application with which users can connect any USB camera to their Android Phone or tablet without rooting.

Webeecam is loaded with technical features unlike most other USB camera applications available for free in the market. Webeecam differentiates itself in more than one ways and is targeted towards advanced and serious camera based product development users. With that said, getting it right as a first step needs understanding the very nature of challenges on the Android platform.

This article describes the challenges and necessary steps to bring up an external camera on Android device.

Unlike a PC, were one can connect a USB camera and MOST of the times the streaming is hassle free, one needs to consider the following factors on an android platform/device for using an external USB camera:

1) Your Android device should support OTG (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USB_On-The-Go). One can check with the manufacturer for the support. Not all specs mention support for OTG, which is poor. One can also try few third party free apps from play store to check if their device supports OTG.

2) Check if Webeecam supports your Android version. One can figure out Android version by going to “settings > about device” on their Android device.

3) Check your Android device architecture such as if its x86 or ARM – 32-bit or 64-bit. Check that against Webeecam support.

4) Not all cameras in the world are supported. The reasons are camera streaming formats. Camera streaming formats can vary from YUY, MJPEG, Bayer, etc.,

Please check your camera specs and compare with Webeecam. We would be very happy to help you with your camera spec and support.

5) Another reason for not supporting a camera could be with the power drawn by the camera. We generally encourage customers to interface their cameras through an external powered USB hub. This will keep the Android device safe from camera loading. Some quality Android devices just shut down the power if there is a shortage.

6) Few Android devices have special USB chips, which prevent apps like Webeecam to enumerate and support an external camera correctly. In such cases please let us know and we would be ready to help to develop support for these specialized Android devices.

7) OTG cables – many of our customers face OTG cable issues. With some phones the OTG cables do not pair very well leading to device disconnect issues.

8) Cheaper Android devices struggle to live stream from high resolution cameras, many times frame rates drop to single digits. Some devices even fail to come up in the first few seconds, it has to do with cheaper hardware specs.

9) Webeecam supports most popular cameras in the market along side with e-con Systems own cameras. If your camera is in the list and everything else looks compatible in the specs and if you still do not see the preview, you can try getting an external powered hub (point 5).

10) We have tested Webeecam with few third party cameras and features such as “reset to default” do not work as expected. The problem is faulty firmware from the manufacturer, please contact the manufacturer for a firmware upgrade to address such issues.

Hope this blog helps the Android community that is trying to build specialized camera applications out there.

Please do not hesitate to write to us should you need any clarifications or require any support – support@webeecam.com

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