Support for older Android devices

Over time, Google has forced apps (due to different changes/actions) to increase the minimum sdk required by apps. This means that fewer and fewer older devices are supported by IP Cam Viewer even though it’s actually capable of supporting devices all the way back to Android 1.5 (yikes).
This process has accelerated recently so I’m getting more email from users complaining about their devices no longer able to download latest release from their Pray store.
To help existing users, I’ve created a special build using the latest code but lowering mininum sdk to 11 (Android 3.0) available to download from here.
Enjoy,
Robert

So done with the Play Store!

Google needs to fix the Play Store for independent developers.

1. Recently, I got an email about IP Cam Viewer Basic being removed because it used SMS / Call Log permissions which is being limited now. Only problem is my app has NEVER asked for those permissions and it still does not!
Check out the list:
android.permission.RECEIVE_BOOT_COMPLETED
android.permission.INTERNET
android.permission.ACCESS_NETWORK_STATE
android.permission.WAKE_LOCK
android.permission.READ_EXTERNAL_STORAGE
android.permission.WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE
android.permission.RECORD_AUDIO
com.android.launcher.permission.INSTALL_SHORTCUT
android.permission.SYSTEM_ALERT_WINDOW
android.permission.FOREGROUND_SERVICE
com.android.vending.BILLING
A possible cause of a false positive by google bots maybe a bug in their code which assumes minimum sdk level 15 and below automatically grants READ_CONTACTS. However, my app’s target sdk is 26 so this is NOT the case (and permission tools verify it):
From Google documentation:
Note: If your app uses the READ_CONTACTS permission and both your minSdkVersion and targetSdkVersion values are set to 15 or lower, the system implicitly grants your app this permission. If you don’t need this permission, be sure your targetSdkVersion is 16 or higher.
Furthermore, I don’t even read contacts and READ_CONTACTS is not listed as one of the SMS / Call log permissions being limited. Still don’t what why I got this removal so I bumped minimum sdk level support to 16 dropping support for older devices to just avoid this potential Google bot bug.

2. Now today, I got an email from a user that IP Cam Viewer Pro was not in the Play Store anymore. Logging on, indeed it’s now removed except I never even got an email from Google on why! Yes, I checked spam folder.
Console says to read email on reason, yah, no email!!! Reached out to any contacts I have for an answer on why but this is ridiculous. The app has been in the Play Store since it launched back in 2009/2010.

3. The situation is better than pre-2016 when they would just suspend your app without any real way to address issue. Now, they mostly remove your app and you can re-submit but what *is the problem* so to avoid uploading triggering further consequences.
It seems their recent burst of activity to remove apps have bugs/problems that catch innocent small independent developers in a black hole. It’s a dystopian future run by bots (borg) and I’m paranoid of random vague removals (and even no reason in this recent case).
My final solution? I’m considering not updating the Play Store anymore and just submit updates to Amazon App Store and downloads from my old website.
So done with the Pray Store!

3/9/2019 update: Still not sure what caused #1 but #2 turned out to be a Patreon link in the Help screen. Ugh. Please download app directly from my website and bypass the Borg empire.

Secure your P2P camera, NVR, or DVR.

Most new IP cameras are using P2P be default. These cameras will send data to a central server either for IP lookup, recording or for relaying data (if direct connection by client to camera fails).
Worse, some cameras still report information even if P2P is turned “off”. These cameras often have a generic API which allows the server to issue any linux type commands or network calls (trojan horse). Even features like alarm notifications are sent to servers like “push.reecam.cn”.
Yes, they are easier to use – just plug in – but I’d rather connect app DIRECTLY to the camera. How can you try to secure these cameras, dvrs, nvrs? See below:
1. Most P2P cameras have a hidden web interface or offer RTSP/ONVIF support, so find those ports either in the admin screens or via port scanning.
1. Turn off P2P feature in camera and use the traditional DDNS/DNS plus port forwarding setup instead.
– see https://hit-mob.com/ip-cam-viewer-android/faq/#2
2. Disable camera’s ability to reach out.
– set it’s internal IP address statically so you can alter the Gateway, DNS, and other values.
– set it’s Gateway IP address to a non-existant address (so it can’t find it’s way to internet servers)
– set it’s DNS server IP to a non-existant address (so it can’t lookup address of internet servers).
3. Use stunnel to protect your cameras.
– run stunnel on an old android, pc or raspberry pi.
– for example, https://myhome.ddns.org:8001 goes to stunnel at port 8001 which then converts back to non-ssl forwarding to camera’s internal 192.168.1.55 port 80.
– this way, you only need to open the stunnel machine to the outside and secure it. All IOT devices are not exposed except through stunnel via SSL.
– most cameras have multiple ports, so remember to setup stunnel/port forwarding for required ports (often HTTP and RTSP ports).
Finally, turn OFF UPNP support in your router to prevent internal devices from automatically opening tunnels from the outside to the inside without you knowing it.

HD Quality Portable Spotter Cam for Target Practice

Don’t spend hundreds of dollars on a 640×480 resolution spotter cam system when you can make a more flexible HD quality setup for half the price.
Hardware:
1) Camera: Many choices but the Amcrest IP2M-841 is 1080P resolution for $81 on Amazon (sometimes on sale for less).
2) Battery: Can’t beat a walmart battery for $48.88.
3) Power Inverter: Any car power inverter will work, this 300W unit for $16.99 comes with aligator clips and USB ports as an extra bonus!
4) Wifi Hotspot: You could use your phone, but it’s simpler to just use a cheap wifi router.
5) Holding it together: A simple toolbox from homedepot to stuff everything inside.
6) Charger: To re-charge the battery, you can use your car jumper cables or this simple wall charger (also great for maintaining car batteries when on vacation).
That’s it for hardware. Now let’s configure all the pieces to work together.
A) Power up wifi router at home and connect your phone/tablet/computer to it. Verify you can change router’s admin settings with it’s web interface. Setup user accounts, etc.
B) Plug camera into wifi router using eithernet port. Verify you can access camera’s web interface from your phone/tablet/computer which is still connected same wifi. Setup user accounts, etc.
C) Now change camera settings to using the router’s WIFI settings, disconnect ethernet cable and reboot camera. Camera should be on wifi now. Verify you can still see camera using phoen/tablet/computer.
D) Finally, run HandiSpotter on your phone/tablet to view camera.
That’s it. Stuff everything into the toolbox and bring it to a field for some target practice.

HandiSpotter!

A new app for you sharp shooters. Capture targets from afar. Marker up and export your results. Works with most IP cameras using your phone/tablet wifi hotspot.
Play Store Link
Video 1 Video 2

For target practice at long distances, use this app with almost any WIFI camera and your phone/tablet to capture, record and export your results.
• Click on a previous shot capture to see where it landed.
• Add marker to highlight each shot.
• Export and share results as a video file, animated GIF or a simple frame image.
• Works with over 1600+ cheap IP Cameras
No more walking back and forth very couple of shots.
Use your phone/tablet’s WIFI hotspot to connect camera at ranges of 100-300ft (dedicated hotspot devices have longer range).
If you need power down range, many cameras use 12v so take a car battery (use voltage regulator if needed).
Great tool for archery, air and pb competition preparation and sight in.

Run IP Cam Viewer on Mac, Windows, Linux, Chromebook using Chrome and Arc Welder

You can run IP Cam Viewer on Mac, Windows, Linux and Chromebook via the Chrome browser! Until IP Cam Viewer is published in the Chrome App Store, use the following steps to run IP Cam Viewer via the Arc Welder Chrome App.
1. Install the Arc Welder app in Chrome.
2. Download the IP Cam Viewer Lite APK file.
3. Run Arc Welder, click “Add your APK”, select the APK file.
4. On the configuration screen, use all defaults, except enter the following into the “Additional Metadata” field (last field on the bottom):
{"sleepOnBlur":false,"disableAutoBackButton":true,"enableExternalDirectory":true}
5. Click the “Launch App” button
When app is run for the first time, Chrome will ask you to select a folder (or create a new folder) on your computer. This folder is where IP Cam Viewer files will be stored. Anytime the app uses “/sdcard/…” or any other path, the files will be located under this folder.
Enjoy,
Rob

CEL-iN1 Door Mount GSM Intercom

Want to know who’s ringing your doorbell? Want to let someone inside while away from home?
The Celius CEL-iN1 multifunction door bell will call you, let you open/close doors, and let you interact with visitors via cameras using IP Cam Viewer. Watch video.
Integrating IP Cam Viewer with third party apps and products is possible with the app’s embedded web server API, Android intents and launch URLs. Device integration include Android Wear watches, Amazon Fire TV/Stick, Chromecast, HDMI sticks, Google TV, Android TV and SmartThings home automation hub.
IP Cam Viewer is available for Apple, Android and Blackberry devices. Windows Phone 8.1 release is targeted for summer 2015!

Android Wear support in v5.7

The android version of IP Cam Viewer now supports Android Wear devices (see link).
In Gallery View, select More Actions then “Push Android Wear App”. Once the wear app is deployed on the watch, you can launch the wear app on the watch and view your enabled cameras (including some basic functions like relay on/off and quick preset recall).
Moto 360 with IP Cam Viewer
So now, IP Cam Viewer in one form or another supports Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, Android TV, Chromecast, Android Wear and stills works from Android 1.6-5.0!
Can’t believe I got the Fire TV Stick for $19 bucks! Did you know it actually runs Android apps so it’s basically the cheapest hdmi stick (unlike the dumb chromecast stream player).