Think, for just a moment, about everything that you can do with your smartphone today that you couldn’t do with a typical phone even 10 years ago. With the right app, you can be just as productive at your job in an airport lounge halfway around the world as you can be sitting in front of the desktop computer in your own office. You can check the weather or get real-time sports scores not by typing anything, but by simply asking your phone a pointed question. Even the original iPhone was incapable of simple tasks like copying and pasting or sending text messages and pictures at the same time. From that perspective, to say that we’ve come a long way is something of a dramatic understatement.
So with all this in mind, is it really a surprise to say that you can transform your old smartphone into a powerful spy camera in just a couple of minutes? It shouldn’t be — because it’s absolutely true.
The technology inside a smartphone is already the stuff of legends — or James Bond movies. Turning it into what is essentially a spy camera, capable of either streaming live over the internet or recording full HD video to the internal storage drive isn’t necessarily the world’s hardest box to check off. All you need is the right app and to keep a few key things in mind.
How to Turn Your Old Smartphone Into a Spy Camera
Regardless of whether you have an old Android phone lying around in a drawer or an iPhone, there are apps available in those platform’s respective app stores that can put you on the track to “super spy” in an instant. For the sake of discussion, we’ll be talking about the Android side of the equation.
Provided that your Android phone is old enough that you’re not using it but still new enough to have a halfway decent rear-facing camera, all you really need to do is open the Google Play Store and download an app called Motion Detector Pro. As the name suggests, the app itself instantly — and secretly — starts recording video as soon as motion is detected in an environment.
Once the app is downloaded and installed on your device, tap the icon one time to get started. You will immediately be prompted to create an account using either an email ID or a phone number. Enter this information to continue.
Go into the “Settings” application on your device and turn off the auto-locking functionality. Your phone will essentially need to be “on” at all times for the app to work — this is part of the reason why you’re using an old phone instead of your primary device. Because disabling auto lock will also drain the battery pretty quickly, you’ll want to have your old charger handy as well.
Place the phone in an inconspicuous location where it won’t necessarily draw a lot of unnecessary attention to itself. Follow the instructions on the app to finish setting up your new surveillance device. You’ll be able to change the motion sensitivity, the amount of time it will record without intervention and more, depending on your preferences.
Once you’ve done that, and once the phone is in your ideal location, plug in the charger and take a step back. Anything that the phone’s camera can see will be captured in full motion video for your review at a later date. As soon as any motion is detected in the room, the camera will “go live,” allowing you to record absolutely everything within the viewing window.
That’s literally it. Congratulations — you’ve taken a device that you probably had no intention of ever using again and turned it into something that you can use to keep an eye on your kids while you’re not at home, keep an eye on people who may be working in or around your house while you’re away, and so much more. It really is that simple.