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For long-term monitoring, the app records five-second video clips whenever it detects motion.

This way, you don’t have to be constantly watching the stream to catch any action. When you connect to i Cam Spy to view your surveillance feed, the app asks if you want to view the feed in Wi-Fi or 3G/4G mode.

Or you can pick up a cloud camera (like Dropcam Pro) for high-definition, low-light monitoring. The easiest, no-frills way to keep a watchful eye is to use an app on your phone paired with an extra piece of equipment.

You’ll find tons of surveillance apps, video monitors, baby- and pet-cams, and other spy-type apps in the app marketplace that you can use to keep tabs on your pad-slash-baby-slash-pet.

Wi-Fi will get you slick, smooth live streaming video, while 3G/4G gets you photo stills of the feed.

You can tap a button to refresh the photo or to switch to live video, but the app warns you that 3G video is “experimental and does not work perfectly yet,” and that it should only be used in emergencies or for short-term viewing of “no more than 10 seconds.” In Wi-Fi mode, i Cam Spy’s video is very good – smooth and practically HD (depending on your surveillance cam), with just a little choppiness.

However, it has a motion detection feature, which recognizes motion in front of the camera and sends a sound alert to your phone.

You can also opt to receive email motion alerts, and you can set the motion sensitivity to low, medium, or high.

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The stream isn’t perfect—it’s choppy and full of blocky-looking artifacts when there’s movement on the other side—but it’s better than a non-HD webcam, and perfectly acceptable for basic home surveillance.

Presence has a web portal as well, but it has limited capabilities: It can’t view live streams and can only see videos recorded Getting started with Presence is ridiculously simple: Just download and install the app on both devices, set up an account, and give it permission to access your device’s camera.

Each device can be used interchangeably as a camera or monitor, and you can connect as many devices as you like to your account.

Home surveillance: It’s one of those things you probably don’t think about until you have to, like when you leave town for several weeks, or when you adopt a curious puppy who likes to put everything in his mouth.

Or worst of all, after you’re the victim of a home break-in.

i Cam Spy isn’t free, but its polished interface and excellent video capabilities make it worth the .

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