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How to remotely control a smartphone camera

Have you ever had such a thing that you need to take a picture, but you cannot press the shutter? There can be many reasons for this: the smartphone is mounted on a tripod and you need to avoid shaking (this is important when shooting astrophotography or with a strong zoom), or you are physically at some distance from the device, for example, when you are simultaneously a photographer and a model in the picture. But there are still situations when you just have dirty hands. Either way, remotely launching the camera and taking a picture is a useful feature that any user should be aware of. Today we will analyze several options for how different gadgets or system capabilities of your smartphone will help solve this problem and also tell you how to remotely control a smartphone camera.

  • With a watch

Today, many smartwatches support the ability to launch the camera of a companion smartphone, and if not, then at least take pictures in an already running application. We will not be able to cover the entire range of Android devices: there are many of them and the interfaces are very different. Think Wear Camera for Wear OS, Camera Controller for Tizen. If you are using a wearable device with a proprietary OS, just go through the settings and installed applications, there will probably be something there.
As for the iPhone and Apple Watch, they also have this option and it works great: there is a small viewfinder, a timer and switching between the front and rear cameras directly from the watch. Speaking of the timer. By default, the picture will be taken three seconds after you press the shutter, however, this setting can be changed.

 

  • Using Xiaomi Mi Band

On new generations of Mi Band (fifth and sixth), camera control is among the standard applications, but the “oldies” can be advised by Mi Band Selfie. However, this application is peculiar, it also requires the installation of a separate camera, so let’s go straight to other options.

  • Using headphones

A rather old, but no less working way to control the camera is to use a headset. Most likely, there will be no problems with a wired one, but wireless solutions do not support such functionality. If you are using an Android smartphone, you can install the dedicated Remote Selfie app. With it, you can not only control the shutter but also set the timer and turn on / off the camera sound.

  • Voice Assistant

In Android, everything is simple: you need to call the voice assistant and say a command, and the virtual assistant “understands” a variety of options, for example, “Start the camera”, “Take a photo”, “Take a photo” or “Take a selfie”, and the latter option immediately activates the front camera, and after three seconds it takes a photo.
As for Siri, Apple’s assistant can fire the camera (rear or front, depending on the command), but you still have to press the shutter yourself.

  • Voice control of the camera (iPhone only)

This method is unique for iOS and does not work in Russian, but we will briefly talk about it. We follow the path Settings – Universal access – Voice control. By activating the corresponding switch, you will be able to control the camera shutter, but, again, only in English. The “Turn up the volume” command activates the side button, which is responsible for the shutter if the camera application is running.

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  • Bluetooth remote

Perhaps this option is the simplest, but you will need additional equipment for it. Tripods and monopods are sometimes supplied with similar remotes for remote camera control; you can find similar ones separately. Let us know in the comments if the topic is interesting to you and you would like to read our selection of such gadgets from AliExpress. Such remotes are connected in the same way as any other Bluetooth device. Wireless gamepads can be used in the same way. In this case, modern smartphones do not need any additional programs.

  • Using the SPen stylus

Owners of devices of the Samsung Galaxy Note family have another interesting way to control the camera in stock: it is possible to do this using the SPen stylus as a remote control. Thanks for the creative idea to our subscribers.

As you can see, remotely launching the camera application and taking a picture is not so difficult. We have analyzed several scenarios, and depending on which smartphone you are using on which OS and what additional equipment you have at your fingertips, we can choose the method that suits you best.

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