Overviewer for iOS turns your phone into a document camera

If you’re using Zoom or videoconferencing software, you’re familiar with the fact that your iPhone’s camera is excellent, and your computer or webcam are probably horrible.

If you wanted to use your phone’s camera as a webcam, you could use ElGato’s Epocam software, or Aiden Fitzpatrick’s Camo. Those are pretty awesome, but they aren’t a document camera. Overviewer App by Charlie Chapman, author of Dark Noise app, is.

How does a document camera differ from a webcam?

A document camera is pointed down at your table, generally speaking. You could also point it at a whiteboard.

But more important than that, you can mark it up and write on it. Sure, you could do this by writing on the actual document, but Zoom and other video conference tools provide virtual markup tools you use with the computer’s mouse or trackpad.

What Overview does, specifically

  1. Run Overview on your phone, it opens up a basic camera application.
  2. When you open Zoom, and share screen, you’ll have the added option to share from your iPhone over AirPlay or lightning cable
  3. on the phone, use control center to turn on Screen Sharing and select your Mac

How does it differ from Camo or Epocam

The difference comes down to appearing as a shared screen or replacing the camera on the Mac. Camo or Epocam are selected by using the Camera selection interface, where Overview appears as a window that can be shared with other viewers, and all the markup tools that come with that, or just simply writing directly on the document being viewed with the camera.

If you have the phone suspected over documents or books, either with a tripod or just sandwiched between a stack of books with the camera aimed downwards, you can make it easier to show what you mean, just as if you were writing on transparencies of an overhead projector back in the stone ages. Get Overview for iPhone (Free!) from the iOS App Store.

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