Webcams on Android 4.4

Android 4.4 (KitKat) is out and brings a lot of new features and changes. One of the changes that it contains is that SELinux (Security Enhanced Linux) now is switched to enforce. This is great news for the user as it improves security. Enforcing rules unfortunately also means that normal apps like the SimpleWebcam app or Dashcam app are bared from accessing the webcam devices. The only way as of now it seems is to use super user rights to access the webcam or turn of SELinux enforcing. Both options require a rooted device.
Another option is to use a custom room which has the security policies set in a way that access to video devices is not forbidden.

For SimpleWebcam refer to this page and use Version 4 if you have a rooted devices with Android 4.4

For the more elaborate Dashcam app found in the app store you will be prompted should a rooted device be required.



13 responses to “Webcams on Android 4.4

  1. Used the dashcam app, it works on Nexus7 (2012) but not on Galaxy Note 2. The video-recording performance is not great, anyway to hardware accelerate this in Android with the GPU?

  2. If you can send me the logcat output of the galaxy note 2 when you run the app I could try and check what the issue is ( As for the video performance. If you use the latest version and turn on Motion Jpeg it shouldn’t be that bad anymore. The hardware supported recording of Android would be great to have but works only for built-in cameras I checked that already.

  3. dashcam as you mentioned doesn’t work in Nexus(2012) updated to Android 4.4 (non-rooted). But with the camera plugged in & reboot of OS the “Camera MX” app (from Google play store) does recognize it as the “Main camera” and displays real-time video even with an unrooted 4.4! Thought it maybe useful to check out how or why that happens..

  4. Thanks for the heads up. That is rather interesting indeed. I just checked it and it also works for me although the performance appears to be worse than with dashcam and it doesn’t allow video recording unfortunately. From what I can gather from the logcat and permissions it is indeed accessing the webcam with android means thus circumventing the need for root. It is a bit annoying that you have to attach the webcam beforehand for this to work. I’ll fiddle with it a bit and see in how far this is usable for video recording.

  5. My N7 (2013) version is 4.4.2 (rooted) and try to connect to logitech c210, but it showed no compatible webcam found. 😦

    • Hi Henry,
      this a combination of hardware that I am very confident should be working. Did you get prompted for root when starting the dashcam app ? Simplewebcam will not work with the 2013 N7.

  6. Hi my tablet Pipo U9T ( Android) detect my USB device (Logitech C310) but not start becouse not have (uvc videodriver) how can install the UVC Driver???

    • You will have to get a custom ROM with enabled uvc driver and video4linux support.
      The kernel options that have to enabled are:

      Most of them are usually enabled but for some reason CONFIG_USB_VIDEO_CLASS is often set to ‘n’.

  7. Thanks for the advise. I want to use it for rear view camera installation. the Nexus 7 functions as the Head Unit screen. Can you clarify – is this solution works with Febon100 ( or there is a better version by now? also, if anyone know a reliable source to buy such a device, Please tip. Thanks !

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