How and Why to Use TinyCam with WyzeCam

TinyCam with WyzeCamTinyCam is a very popular app used for monitoring and controlling security cameras.  While it isn’t compatible with all cameras, it works fine with WyzeCam.  It introduces capabilities and controls the native WyzeCam app does not have yet.  We say “yet” because WyzeCam is still new and they continue to roll out new features into the app.

You can find TinyCam in the Google Play Store or Amazon.  It runs on Android and Amazon devices.  Sorry iPhone people, this great app won’t run on iOS.

Note there is a free and paid version of TinyCam.  Everything we discuss is available in the paid version.  You can try the free version out, see if you like it, before buying the paid version.  As of today, the cost of the paid version is $3.99 but that’s of the date of publishing this article.  Some features we discuss, such as Google Cast is only available in the free version.

Why Use TinyCam with WyzeCam?

Now, don’t get us wrong.  We love WyzeCam.  Be sure to read our WyzeCam review.  But, TinyCam provides several advantages over the WyzeCam app.

First, it supports other camera brands.  If you have multiple cameras from different manufacturers, you likely have a unique app for each brand.  TinyCam allows access of multiple brand cameras from a single app (and single home screen).

There are advantages specific to WyzeCam too.  Let’s touch upon several of them.

Ever want to watch your WyzeCam feed on a television screen?  TinyCam has the ability to cast the video to Google Chromecast.  That means if you have a Google Chromecast device or Android TV box like the NVIDIA Shield Streaming Media Player, you can hit the little cast button found in the upper right of TinyCam and watch it on TV.

Tasker is one of the most popular apps for automating tasks on an Android device.  TinyCam integrates with Tasker and this enables automation of things like sending a text message when your WyzeCam senses motion.  You can also kick off other events such as open an app.

Another big advantage to using TinyCam instead of the default WyzeCam app is the availability of motion detection areas.  We are big fans of this feature for minimization of false motion alerts caused by things you don’t care about.  Things like pets, leaves and tree branches moving past the WyzeCam isn’t reason for an alert.  Using motion detection areas to exclude areas where these events occur will improve the effectiveness of motion alerts.  The implementation of motion detection areas is among the best we have seen of all the camera apps.

Lastly, consider TinyCam for their cloud service.  WyzeCam provides a fine cloud service but the stored video is limited to 12 second clips which are downloaded to your device.  The TinyCam cloud service allows longer clips to be stored.  Unlike the free WyzeCam cloud, there’s a cost of $5.99 monthly for the TinyCam cloud.  So if you’re in need of longer clips on the cloud, this service will do it.

How to Install TinyCam with WyzeCam

It’s not as easy as the WyzeCam app, that’s for sure.  But it’s not as hard as setting up our Amcrest ProHD where a degree in networking sure would have helped.  Before getting started, be sure to download TinyCam.  Also, get the MAC address for the WyzeCam.  You can retrieve that front within the app under basic information.  It’s also printed on a label attached to the camera.

Now get the IP address for your WyzeCam.  You won’t find that in the WyzeCam app.  Easiest thing to do is open the admin function of your home or office router and search for the MAC address.  The IP address associated with that MAC address is what you will need.

Now, it’s time to define your camera to TinyCam.  When the app is first started, you will see a + sign at the bottom right.  Tap the + sign to “Add IP Camera”.  Now give it a camera name, select Wyze Labs as the camera brand.  The WyzeCam will be filled in for the camera model by default since that’s the only one currently available.

Now keep going down the list.  Enter the IP address you discovered before, check off HTTPS and enter your WyzeCam logon credentials.  Noe go back up to the top and click on Camera Status.  After a few seconds, the WyzeCam video should appear.

Fine Tuning TinyCam with WyzeCam

Like practically any app, the default options should be changed.  Scroll down to Advanced Settings.

Go to Motion Detection.  Assuming you want to use motion detection, turn it on by checking the box next to in-app motion detection.  The sensitivity setting is defaulted at 35 which might be fine but you may need to turn it up or down depending upon the situation.  While you’re looking at the sensitivity setting, check out the motion detection area.  Click on a box to toggle that area on or off for motion detection.  Also check off Record to local storage on motion.  You can also set sound or vibration on motion as well as a lot of other things.

Go to Recording.  Set the recording frame rate to 10.0 which matches the WyzeCam capability.  You can also establish Dropbox recording from here.

Choosing a Go-to App

You will need the WyzeCam app for initial setup but after that, you can use the TinyCam app as your go-to everyday camera application.  No doubt, the WyzeCam app is a simpler interface, but TinyCam sure gives you a lot of features not present in the WyzeCam app.  For those that prefer a bit more customization and usability, TinyCam is a good choice.

All of these articles are written by someone (me) that figured out how to do this stuff the hard way.  I have owned and tested dozens of cameras.  Manufacturer support varies.  There are a few good companies that provide timely answers when you have questions.  There are several that sell you the camera and seem to have little interest in post sales support (which leads me to finding out stuff the hard way).