We took a look at the WebCamera iPhone app last fall. It's a clever piece of software that turns your iPhone into a portable webcam on a Wi-Fi network. Since our review, the price has dropped to US$2.99, iPad 2 support has been added, and you can now record the streaming audio and video right on your computer.
Setup is easy. Install WebCamera on your iPhone or iPad, and download a free app for your desktop or laptop computer. Both Mac OS and Windows are supported. Run the app on your phone, select the computer running the app, and whatever your iOS camera sees shows up on your computer. It's nice for keeping an eye on kids or pets, or use it with any messaging app just as if you had a USB camera plugged in.
On the iPhone or iPad 2, you can choose the front-facing or rear camera, mute the audio and use the flash on the iPhone as a light to brighten up the scene. Just beware of battery drain if you're not connected to a power source.
The new recording feature allows you to grab a still or a movie with sound from your iPhone. The resulting video clip is a standard .mov file.
The video doesn't work with iChat, unfortunately (it's an Apple issue). WebCamera worked fine on Skype, but of course you can run Skype directly from your iPhone rather than your computer.
Running the app keeps your iPhone 'awake' so it does not time out and lock in the middle of a session. WebCamera is a good app made better with the updates. iPad 2 support is welcome, and the ability to record the webcam sessions on your computer is a nice feature. The app was stable in my tests, and if you have ever wanted a portable cordless webcam this might be a great solution. The app also runs on the 4th generation iPod touch.