Apps such as i-c-LiveCams (IP/PTZ Webcam Streaming Video) from Barry Egerter appeal to the voyeurs in all of us.
This nifty little app enables anyone to view streaming video over Web cams —yours or someone else’s — over any Wi-Fi and Internet connection.
You can also view snapshots over 3G and EDGE. (Apple’s SDK doesn’t allow for more than single frame rates on those networks.) i-c-LiveCams (IP/PTZ Webcam Streaming Video) automatically switches from streaming video to single frame rates when you move from Wi-Fi networks to 3G or EDGE networks.
You can monitor locations in streaming JPEG video and control the pan, tilt and zoom of Web cams with the capability such as Axis, Canon, D-Link, Edimax, Linksys, Mobotix, Panasonic, Sony, Toshiba, Trendnet, Vivotek, WebcamXP and Y-Cam Web cams. However, only Axis and Canon camera PLZ is supported by the app. Egerter says compatibility for the rest are on the way.
i-c-LiveCams (IP/PTZ Webcam Streaming Video) comes with the URLs for hundreds of public Web cams, which are stored on a server and regularly updated. If you’ve used apps like this one before (on your iPhone/iPod touch or on a desktop) then you’re probably aware that it can be a pain to find good lists of public Web cams and when you do, you often have to enter their addresses manually, which can be tedious because most are long.
Public cams in i-c-LiveCams are sorted in categories to make them easier to find and manage: Beaches and Bikinis-PTZ, Animals, Most Popular-Some PTZ and so on.
Tap a category and you’ll get views from cameras in six locations. Tap a view for a closer look and when available, to control the camera. I happened to click on Gulf Shores Alabama’s Pink Pony Public Beach and found someone already controlling the camera. I had to wait a couple of minutes before I was able to wrest control of the Web cam mess with its zoom, pan and tilt functions.
I’ve looked at several Web cam apps such as iCam (Webcam Video Streaming), My Webcam and AtHome Camera. They’re all quite similar. One significant difference is that i-c-LiveCams (IP/PTZ Webcam Streaming Video) is only $0.99, which makes it a bargain.