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.

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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:

  1. Updated UI with a slide-out menu, new toggle style, new button style, etc.
  2. New start screen with secondary cameras being smaller (1 on top, then 2 per row) instead of just 1 per row.
  3. Shows Featured Cameras now called Live Demos, and you can actually add these cameras to your own start screen by pressing Follow.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. You can now rename cameras.
  7. You can now contact support directly from the app - Email fires up a new email and Call immediately dials (hence the new permission).

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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:

MD5: d44b9f48acc3e5eb73e86c7a78617f09

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • MJ

    Why in the world would I want to upload a video of say inside my house to the cloud? Really? Do people not know one can record to their PC and then remotely access that? I am
    thinking that Dropcam is a NSA front company...

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      If someone breaks into your house and steals your computer/NAS/server, your recording will go with it.

      • http://mrmcpowned.com mrmcpowned

        It's as if there's this naive thought that everyone has a cold storage facility in their homes...

      • MJ

        People still steal PCs? Maybe a laptop but box PCs are like furniture these days. No one is taking it...

        I could see where the motion detector on the cam trips and sends a notification to my phone where I (or automatically) then starts recording to the cloud also. All recordings going to cloud seems useless and a bad idea to me.

        • Deeco

          People still steal PC's?! What kind of question is that? If it's valuable or something they can't have then they will steal it for profit.

        • http://rayshq.com/ Ray

          Whatever you're smoking, I want some!

        • http://www.felipeyang.com Felipe Yang

          You seem to have a very narrow perspective on the uses for this camera...

          I use it to manage one of my small business locations. I can set this camera up with no PC or DVR to be dealt with and can monitor this camera from my phone or computer at home. I don't have to set foot in the store to view the footage or ensure a PC is functioning, and can access the recordings from a week before without having to constantly delete old recordings to ensure the hard drive is not filled.

      • Wyatt Neal

        I feel like the concept would be way more useful if it allowed dropping of the app on older phones that I have and could just sprinkle throughout the house attached to a USB wall-wart and then my number of cameras is now the number of old android device I have hanging out in drawers ... there's probably something that does that right?

  • Cory_S

    I have 4 of these. Great devices. Really wish they'd add IR motion sensing on a newer model...their current method of alerts are near useless in an environment that gets any kind of light shining through windows.