USB cameras connected to Android 10 device do not work

I used to use some external cameras like microscope and endoscope connected to my Android phone with OTG cable.

Google Android documentation says that many standard USB cameras should generally work with Android:

The Android platform supports the use of plug-and-play USB cameras (that is, webcams) using the standard Android Camera2 API and the camera HIDL interface. Webcams generally support USB video class (UVC) drivers and on Linux, the standard Video4Linux (V4L) driver is used to control UVC cameras.

It used to work on my older Android phone nicely, but for some reason I could not get that to work with Samsung A70 that uses Android version 10. First I suspected that the problem was with my OTG cable or the old apps. First it seemed that OTG cable did not seem to work at all. Then I got newer OTG cable, that seemed to give power to those devices and it seemed that mass storage worked. But not the camera.

I tried installing some newer apps like this: OTG View is an user friendly operating Android application, which allows you to use this software to view live inspection and recording videos, take pictures and storage in your devices. It also supports playback and other functions. Connect the OTG(USB) inspection camera`s USB to Android devices to view live video. It seemed to find the camera devices nicely, but I did not be able to get any pictures or video from it. And I tried also some other apps without success. None of them seemed to get image data from camera (screen stayed black or app crashed depending on app).

So I did some research what could be reason for this. Here is what I found.

OTG View app page says:

Due to Google’s own negligence, Android 10 system can’t recognize USB camera. if you already updated to Android 10, this App will not be able to work for your phone!!! We are waiting for Google to fix this in order for us to upload a update version again.

CameraFi page says:

[Notice] Android 10 Devices Do NOT Support USB Camera Connection.
Android 10 devices do NOT support USB camera connection.
Android 10 devices do NOT support UVC(USB Video Class) devices to be connected in the apps with targetSdkVersion API Level 28 and above.

From November 2019, all app updates on Google Play have been required to target API level 28 or higher.

(source: https://android-developers.googleblog.com/2019/02/expanding-target-api-level-requirements.html)

Therefore, for updating the app to Google Play, CameraFi Live should be API level 28 or higher.

Android 10 smartphones CANNOT connect a USB cameras like webcams, etc in the app from the Play Store.

Stackooverflow has this:

I wrote an application to access USB camera and it works fine in Android 9, but it failed in Android 10. I know that start from Android 9, application needs to grant permission from user on accessing camera as well as USB device in order to access USB camera. I found that in Android 10, application can grant permission in accessing camera, but when try to ask permission to access USB camera by UsbManager.requestPermission(), application received “deny” immediately without any prompt to ask user. Is there any other permissions I needed to ask in Android 10?

Jiusion Blog says:

Android 10 devices do NOT support USB camera connection.

Android 10 devices do NOT support UVC(USB Video Class) devices to be connected in the apps with targetSdkVersion API Level 28 and above.

From November 2019, all app updates on Google Play have been required to target API level 28 or higher.

(source: https://android-developers.googleblog.com/2019/02/expanding-target-api-level-requirements.html)

Therefore, for updating the app to Google Play, microscope camera apps should be API level 28 or higher.

Android 10 smartphones CANNOT connect a USB cameras like webcams, etc in the app from the Play Store.

People who use the Android 10 device and broadcast live with webcams, DSLRs, camcorders, and etc., can download OTG View, USB Camera with target API Level 27

There was a download link, but I do not want to install an app from random .apk from source I can’t verify to be reasonably safe.

It seem that I have to give up the idea of using my microscope or endoscope or UVC video capture devices with my current Android smart phone. Hopefully this gets fixed some day.

13 Comments

  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    How to Convert Laptop Webcams to USB Webcams
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C8pFkhkTvqo

    In this quick video, Matt from DIY Perks shows you how to make an external webcam by taking the webcam module out of an old laptop.

    Reply
  2. samuel de oliveira chagas says:

    Infelizmente estou com o mesmo problema, no meu moto G1 funcionava perfeito, usei muito a câmera de inspeção, comprei um moto G7 e quando liguei parou de funcionar, comprei outra câmera e não funcionou, daí liguei no meu antigo moto G1 e as duas estavam funcionando, já instalei vários apps e nada, uma pena está com está falha, em vez de evoluí estamos desevoluindo.

    Reply
  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Old Laptop camera to USB Camera Conversion || How to make Laptop webcam to USB Video Camera
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=g8XbDJLKKys

    Reply
  4. Kurt Hallquist says:

    None of the comments have anything to do with Android 10 and USB camera. Is there a solution? Or are we just effed?

    Reply
  5. Kurt Hallquist says:

    None of the comments have anything to do with Android 10 and USB camera. Is there a solution? Or are we just effed?

    Reply
  6. Jim says:

    @Kurt, not sure. Hopefully theres a fix

    Reply
  7. Stan69 says:

    It doesn’t seem to be entirely true. I have failed to connect external UVC devices to my Note9 running Android 10. However, I managed to connect the same UVC devices to my Tab S6 Lite tablet running Android 10 right the first time.

    So, it seems like there’s a problem connecting USB cameras to devices which received Android 10 as a lifecycle upgrade, but there’s no problem connecting the same cameras to devices which were shipped with Android 10 from the factory. But I admit that more extensive testing would be necessary to confirm this.

    Reply
  8. Jimmu says:

    Today I connected the UVC grabber and USB camera to Android 10. Bought 2 years ago with Android 9. Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 and xiaomi.eu rom.
    I am using the “USB Camera” application by “沈垚 / ShenYao China” from Play store.

    Reply
    • Kai says:

      I had the same problem after updating Oneplus6 to Android 10. Previously I used OTG View (with my cheap usb inspection camera), which no longer works (pity, it’s the best app I’ve seen so far). Abovementioned “USB Camera” application by “沈垚 / ShenYao China” does work for my setup.

      Reply
      • Tomi Engdahl says:

        That application you recommended fixed the camera connection problem for me as well.

        I had tried several USB camera programs this did not work.
        But “USB Camera” application by “ShenYao China” finally worked.

        Reply
  9. Fred says:

    Well after downloading dozens of apps that would not work, it seems this one works perfectly with Android 10 phones. Just tried it and works perfect on my Samsung A50. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.shenyaocn.android.usbcamera&hl=fi&gl=US

    Reply
  10. Fred says:

    Well after downloading dozens of apps that would not work, it seems this one works perfectly with Android 10 phones. Just tried it and works perfect on my Samsung A50. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.shenyaocn.android.usbcamera&hl=fi&gl=US

    Reply

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