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I am sorry if this is a dumb question. I thought this was an easy task, but either I am searching in the wrong direction or this isn't easy at all.

I want to make a video call (like Skype, Skype fo Business, Jitsi ... whatever) using a (external) webcam.

Thats it. My phones (I have a few here, all different vendors from Samsung to 3chintsa) all have two cameras (front/back), which are working fine. I can call (video call), switch cams, conference call my cats - everything is perfect.

Additionally I have an external cam, which also works fine by itself. I can use "IP Webcam" apps, take fotos, make videos, use it as remote cam ... works flawless. Except one thing.

I want (reads: need to) use this camera as a ... camera. Within video calls (app doesn't matter, everything would be fine). But almost no app lets me change or chose the camera, except from switching front to back.

Why would I want to do that? We have a (surprisingly well done) "handsfree microscopic magnifier headset" that, so the idea, should be used as a "remote support assistent" helper, to guide people remotely fixing stuff. We (a non profit org) are trying to reduce our carbon footprint by no longer flying around the earth for visual diagnosis on our tech and/or guiding locals to fix things by themselves. Am I to far from reality here?

I couldn't find any app that lets me do that. What am I doing wrong?

I have tried:

  • Skype
  • Skype for business
  • Jitsi (App)
  • Duo
  • IMO
  • JusTalk
  • KiK
  • WebRTC
  • Hubl

I am I missing something important here?

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Android 9 has native support for external cameras, but in order for it to work it should be implemented by the manufacturer, which according to anecdotal reports I saw online isn't done by most or even any of them. I just faced the same problem myself.

One solution is to patch the Android kernel on your device to turn on the support for the feature at the Hardware Abstraction Level (HAL). People have done it successfully, but you will lose your warranty and it's not easy to figure out.

Another solution is to take an open-source app and tweak it to support UVC cameras using an appropriate library. I've got an estimate from a highly experienced mobile developer that it'd take 40+ hours. There was a feature request made to add UVC-webcam support into Jitsi Meet for Android. You can follow the link and express that you need this feature too, maybe the maintainers will prioritize it.

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