The Manything app makes a video-monitoring device out of an iPhone, iPod, or iPad. Mount it anywhere and stream a constant video feed you can monitor from any browser. Think Nanny cam or a homemade surveillance system. The guys behind this app have put in a lot of thought in this app, and it showcases some solid features.
Video feeds recorded using this app will detect sound and movements and point them out in the footage. Every video is saved to your own Manything account where you can clip out important parts and even share them with others via a personal video link.
If you don’t need a surveillance camera, you can instead use Manything to record a video that is then automatically saved in your account in the cloud, saving local storage space. Two birds – one stone? Not really – it’s up to you how you want to use the service.
How to Monitor Activity With Manything
Download Manything for your iOS device here. Upon first launch, press “Get started” and then create a new account.
You’ll be asked to confirm the use of the microphone, as the audio can be streamed from the device. Choose the upper left icon to open the settings. If your device will not be plugged in during the recording, save battery by opening the “Screen Dimmer” option and turning “Bright on Movement” off. This will dim the screen until you touch it.
The “Low Light Mode” offers a few options for what to do when the light level drops. You can have the device turn the torch light on indefinitely or just turn it on briefly in response to a sound, for example. The latter option is nice as the device will act on what it hears. If something is moving and making noise, it will show the light to see it better.
“Stills Only Mode” will not capture video by default, but instead just single images. Choose this if you don’t need a constant stream or are limited by network bandwidth. You can also change cellular or WiFi data caps from the settings menu.
When all the settings are properly set up, click the big red record button to start recording. It’s best to mount the device in such a way that constant movement won’t take place. If you’ll be recording for long periods, constant movement is the last thing you’ll want, as we’ll see below.
Press the button once more to stop the recording. The results page will indicate if movement and sound were detected during the recorded time.
Sign in to your account at Manything.com to view the recorded video.
If you hadn’t stopped the video, and it were still recording, the live stream would appear in the main viewing area. Otherwise, since we stopped our video, the recorded sessions are on the right. Choose any recorded session to view the activity.
The bottom of the video displays the movement Manything detected. The blue color indicates sound while the red expresses motion. The first nine seconds of our video contained no sound or big movements. However, movement and noise was obviously detected toward the end of the recording.
This is why, if you are seeking to find movement activity in your recording, you should mount the device in an area that isn’t going to be constantly active. It’s easy to scroll through the video and find the activity it found, but only if the movements and sounds aren’t overwhelmingly present.
You can share portions of a recording from the “Tools > Create Clip” menu. Take note that clips do not remove the original video, but rather extract portions and file them in a separate location from the raw file.
Drag the blue bars in the activity pane to mark the beginning and end of the clip. A clip can be up to 15 minutes in length. Choose a description to easily identify what the clip is representing, and then click “Save.”
Video extracts are stored in the “Clips” section. From here, you can click “Share” to get a link to the video clip.
If you record in “Stills Only Mode,” a Timelapse can be created to make it easier to view activity over the recorded time.
Lastly, all these sessions and clips are separated by the “Device” menu. If you are using the same Manything account on an iPad and iPhone, find the separate videos under the menu item.
- Watch live streams from a browser and away from the recording device in real-time to see what’s being seen from the device with only a small lag time.
- If you’re not using Manything for security monitoring purposes, you can still utilize the app as a regular video recorder that stores the file in the cloud instead of using local device space.
- Use of the camera light on the device is helpful not only for recording at night but also to activate when a noise is heard (serving like a security light of a sort).
- Manything is allowing 30 days worth of free recording while in beta. When the final release surfaces, there will be a plan you must subscribe to which will allow videos to be stored for 1-30 days, depending on the selected plan.
- Live stream sharing is not currently supported, so only the account holder can view the stream.
- Interruptions may occur during recording like a phone call, text message, reminder, or alert. This can sometimes disrupt the video and result in a less-than-complete recording. Manything says the resulting loss of time may be up to one minute for each alert that occurs. (Using Airplane mode and the Do Not Disturb feature can avoid such issues.)
Manything serves as both a general video recorder and as a remote monitor. It’s great we can watch a live feed from a remote browser on nothing more than an iPhone or other iOS device, without the need or purchasing a full-blown security system. It’s really easy to identify where sound and video movements were detected, which adds a sense of simplicity with the service.