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What is it?

CameraServe is an Android 2.3+ (API level 9) application that allows older (as well as newer) devices to remain useful by becoming IP cameras.

The app engages the Android device's camera and listens for connections on a configurable port (default 8080). A web browser or any number of standard IP cam monitoring apps can connect and view the images as an MJPEG (Motion JPEG) stream.

Why was it created?

Because many of us have older phones and tablets that are doing nothing more than gathering dust. So why not put them to good use?

There are other similar apps on the Google Play Store, but they are closed source and have limitations such as instability, ads, and in-app purchases.

An explicit goal of this project is to be open source, freely examinable and available, and, importantly, side-loadable. When using older devices, especially unattended, it may not be wise to connect them with your Play Store account. Side-loading capabilities are therefore required.

What is its status?

tl;dr: It's functional, but kinda rough around the edges.

This app was created during a weekend hackathon. Code quality is, shall we say, rough at best. However, it's slowly being improved. Some features (such as SSDP discoverability) have been added. Other features that should arguably be required, such as authentication, have not yet been added, and it may be a while before they are. Tests are, regrettably, nonexistent as well.

Pull requests to address shortcomings as well as to add useful features are certainly welcome.

Current features include:

  • Motion JPEG (MJPEG) HTTP camera stream on configurable port
  • Ability to select camera source on devices with multiple cameras
  • Resolution selection
  • Rotation support (alpha)
  • Option to run on device startup
  • Option to appear above the lock screen
  • Discoverability via SSDP (though not "proper" UPnP)

What does it look like?

It's mostly a live view of the camera (blank in the emulator screenshot below) and a configuration screen:

camera view

settings view


Android IP cam app







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