Manything turns a spare iOS device into a cloud-connected security camera. Install the app, sign up for an account and leave the iPhone, iPad or iPod touch with its camera pointing at your desk, your yard or hidden in a plastic bag and pointing up from the bowl of your toilet.
For any unsuspecting visitors, it will be too late. You’ll have seen everything.
The service has a few touches that set it apart from other offers. First, all footage is beamed from your device to the Manything servers before being relayed to another iOS device or to your Mac via the browser. This means the Internet can act as a DVR for you even when you’re not looking, and also that you can log in from any computer to check up on things.
The app also detects sound and motion, and logs them on a neat graph which shows the peaks of both noise and movement in different colors on a timeline. This makes it dead easy to zero in on the action.
The server component does mean that you have to trust the service with a live feed of what is presumably a valuable spot, and it also means that you have to pay. You can opt for the free version, which gives you 1GB online storage (around four hours of video), or (when the service exits beta) you can pay €3 per month for 3GB, €7 for 10GB (2 days of video) or €15 for 50GB, or around a week’s worth of footage.
I have tried it out with my iPhone and iPad, using the latter to watch video streamed from the former while it was set in my hallway. We currently have builders in the house remodeling the kitchen, and I wanted to see what the guy was up to when I was in the living room working, separated by around three airlocks’ worth of plastic sheeting “doors.” The surprise? He was working hard.
Also, the builder has taught me something else – transistor radios still work, apparently, although it seems you have to cover them in plaster dust and tile grout to get a good signal.
Go try out Manything if you like – as I said, it’s currently free, and works pretty well.