Manything makes basic home security free for those of us with iOS devices. Free home security? How can that be? All those devices, switches, and cameras cost money, don’t they? Well, yes, they do. However, you won’t need them. This system lets you use your iOS device to monitor your home. This sounds pretty cool, so let’s take a look at it.
What Is Manything?
Basically it’s an iOS app for iOS 6.0 and later. The app works on iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touch devices. It’s optimized for iPhone 5, meaning it works the best with that device. However, it works fine with all the devices listed above as long as they are running iOS 6.0 or later. The app itself is free. Since you already own the device with the camera that will be used, although, it probably wasn’t free when you got it, you won’t have to pay for new cameras.
How Does Manything Work?
The app takes over control of the camera on your iOS device and basically turns it into a closed circuit surveillance camera for your home. Unlike low cost video cameras or webcams, the video quality the app produces is the same quality as the camera app on your device, so you’ll get to see excellent detail in the images. That said, the program has a Settings page that will allow you to specify the video quality based upon the type of network connection the device is using.
How Do I Get It?
Getting the Manything app is simple. You can go to their site or open the iTunes App Store, and search for Manything. There are two versions — one for iPad and the other for iPhone and iPod Touch. Click to download it, and, in iTunes, sync your device once the app is downloaded.
When you launch the app for the first time, you’ll be asked to register with the Manything site. After that, you can begin recording, or you can configure the app to suit your needs. The app has motion sensing technology, so you can enable that, set the trigger threshold, and place your device somewhere the camera can see the area you want covered. With motion sensing enabled, the app will only start recording when enough motion is detected to trigger the threshold. This saves you bandwidth, data allotments, and storage space, both on the site and on your device.
What Can Manything Do?
It has motion sensing technology to turn the camera on and off/start and stop recording. You can also bypass that and use the click to start recording method. One thing I like is that if you enable motion control, not only can you set the threshold at which the camera starts recording, you can also specify areas, motion detection zones, that will trigger the sensor. This means that if the camera covers an area that you don’t need covered for recording, you can exclude it. For example, I can place my iPod Touch so that the camera covers the whole front room, but I can tell the app to only start recording if it sees motion by my new couch. That way I know when Fido jumps on it.
I also mentioned that the video quality is adjustable. The video quality settings are based upon two things: the frame rate and the data rate. If you’re using the device’s cellular connection to transmit data, you might want to use a lower frame and data rate. However, if you’re like me, you use your Wi-Fi connection, bump it up to high quality 24 frames per second and 700 kilobytes per second (kbps) to get the best quality video.
The app also lets you take time-lapse video and still frame captures. It also has network loss protection and power recovery features, so even if the power goes out or the network connection is lost during recording, recording will continue. Video is sent to the Manything servers (it’s password protected during account setup), so it can be viewed anywhere you can browse the web. My only real problem with it is that you have to login every time you launch the app. I’m hoping they change that in newer versions.
What are Users Saying?
Honestly, not much yet. The app seems to be pretty new and there are only three reviews in the iTunes App store. Two reviewers state that they have yet to get it to work for them, while the other loves it. I must point out that it appears these reviews are only for the current version because it has an overall three and half star rating with 66 ratings.
Overall, this is a pretty cool little app. The FAQs aren’t there yet, or they wouldn’t open for me on my iPod Touch, but they do have a helpful short video on YouTube that walks you through the program a bit. Like I said, my only problem with it so far is that you have to login every time you launch the app.