DIY home surveillance has become infinitely easier over the past several years, with options like Dropcam leading the way. The product offers a nearly-instant setup, 24 hour monitoring, and optional CVR cloud storage of recorded videos. While all this is great, there was certainly room for improvement in the camera's companion app, which recently received a major update to version 2.6 that brings some much-needed features, making it substantially more useful than before.
The first thing you may notice when pulling the update – which seems to be on a staged rollout, by the way – is that it requests three new permissions: USB storage access, GPS, and the ability to directly call phone numbers. Here's a look at the new stuff we found, along with why it needs these new permissions:
- Updated UI with a slide-out menu, new toggle style, new button style, etc.
- New start screen with secondary cameras being smaller (1 on top, then 2 per row) instead of just 1 per row.
- Shows Featured Cameras now called Live Demos, and you can actually add these cameras to your own start screen by pressing Follow.
- You can now rewind 30s (presumably, only if you have CVR - Dropcam's DVR service). Before that, you couldn't rewind other than by going to the list of Activities, which depended on movement, and there there's pretty much nothing you can do once viewing an Activity segment other than to watch it - no rewind, no pause, no jumping around.
- New beta feature - Location Aware (hence the new permission). You can turn off alerts and camera based on a certain location. Presumably, this is useful for when you're home and only want recording and alerts for when you're actually gone.
- You can now rename cameras.
- You can now contact support directly from the app - Email fires up a new email and Call immediately dials (hence the new permission).
All in all, this is a pretty big update, and definitely one worth grabbing. If it hasn't hit your account yet, you can grab the apk from one of our mirrors below: