A dash camera, or dashcam as most of us call it, is a video camera that is normally mounted on the windscreen of a vehicle to record traffic events and continuous view of the road. You will realize the importance of this gadget when you want to settle a traffic case or need to review a previous traffic event.
Car dashboard cameras are becoming more popular today than ever before. With people recording their road tours and posting them on social media, definitely, the need for these dash cams will not settle any soon. Whilst the market is well stocked with High Definition dashboard cameras, it is practical and obviously free to turn your smartphone into a dash camera. This can greatly help in lodging insurance claims and protecting oneself from non-factual claims.
You can see also How to Turn Your Smartphone Into a Hidden Camera.
This article will help you make your smartphone a dash camera alternative. This should work on most phones that use iOS or Android operating systems.
What you need
- Dash camera mount. For this, ensure that you use a phone mount that holds your device firmly even when driving on a bumpy road. You don’t have to go for the most expensive or pretty, just the one that will not obstruct the view of the road by covering the lens of the camera of your phone.
- By using the camera mount, install the phone facing the road on the dashboard. The positioning should be strategic and should not interfere with the rear camera which is very important when reversing. There are adjustable mounts that can be customized to fit any size of a phone. It is good to go for such since there are no standard phone sizes and so do the sizes of these camera mounts tailored for smartphones.
- Your smartphone. Definitely, you should have a smartphone. In case you have an old smartphone, you can have it instead. It just has to be functioning properly and the camera is intact and okay.
- A car charger or a charging USB cable. You don’t need to struggle with fancy things, just a cable long enough to reach your phone when mounted on the dashboard. The essence is to keep your phone from running out of charge half way.
- Dashboard camera app. You can do it without the specialized apps by recording a normal video with the phone, but these apps come with great features that enhance how you record your videos, their quality to storage. I have made a brief roundup of the most common dash cam apps that you should consider.
These dash cam apps make the job more precise and easy. Most of these apps are compatible with Android smartphones and also can run on iPhones.
Best Smartphone Dash Camera Apps
Consider using one of the following applications on your smartphone
This application is available on the Google Play store for free. It is a great app that allows you to record your audio and videos while you are driving. One of the most interesting additions in this app is the ability to notify the driver about the speed monitoring cameras. The developers of this application have done a great job by implementing the locations of speed cameras and can provide the speed limits for the specific locations.
This application proves to be a great companion to drivers. It’s possible to use other features on the phone while the dashboard video records in the background. It displays speed in kilometers per hour or miles per hour according to the user’s preference. You have the option to manipulate the video quality or turn on and off the audio feature. It also lets the user alter the length of videos the application records.
All the recordings can be stored in the cloud storage which is enabled for within the app or alternatively you can store them in the SD card. Every use is privileged with 2GB free storage which is equivalent to two hours of video record. Most free applications come with tons of irritating ads. With CamOnRoad, there are no ads that would otherwise interfere with your recordings.
This dashboard camera app comes in both premium and free versions. You can use the free version in case you are not in a position to cash out. The free version comes with ads that should not affect your experience since they do not appear on the main screen during recording. The premium version, however, comes with some added advantages like the ability to sync recorded videos to your Youtube channel.
Whilst most of the dashboard cameras used today enables one to record view of the road and other traffic activities, which is the case with dashboard cameras, Some have been developed with the capability of running in the background. Our AutoGuard makes a perfect example of background running enabled ap. With the premium version, you can be able o to use the app with other apps simultaneously without having to stop one from running. For instance, you may find it worth to check your navigation app if you are driving on a new road and still your Autoguard will continue running.
Another interesting addition is the automatic launch functionality. When you place your phone into your car dock, Autogurad automatically will launch and start recording.
As the name suggests, this should be your daily road companion while you are driving. This dash camera app enables you to captures everything. I mean everything that can be recorded by a video camera. The user can choose what to keep and what to erase.
Just like many dash camera applications, DailyRoads Voyager enables you to change video length, manipulate the quality and also you can turn sound on and off. The app will automatically delete old footage and replace it with new recordings. This saves you the hustle of keeping on creating space for new recordings whenever you run out of storage.
One interesting feature with this app is the ability to detect shock in case an accident occurs. It saves this data and other recordings in the SD card inside your phone. Though the app will cost you 5 dollars, you can download the free version which has all the functionalities you would need.
What’s Next after App Install?
After you have your smartphone ready, a cam mount on hand and you have settled for your choice dash cam app, you are almost hitting the road.
Install your application and make sure you have sufficient storage space since not all apps come with cloud storage.
Mount the phone on the dashboard ensuring that it does not interfere with the rear camera. Also, check if the mount covers the camera lens, otherwise you will have a 2-hour record of nothing.
You can connect the USB charger depending on the charge levels of your phone. This is to make sure the recording is not cut when the phone runs battery low.
Launch your app and start recording all your traffic events. You can toggle the volume according to your preference or adjust the quality of your video.