Firestick, Wyze Sideload, Alexa, TinyCam?

I was able to sideload the regular Wyze app onto my Firestick, but found (as others have) that you can’t proceed with logging in without mouse control. Then I found that Firestick mouse software is an iffy proposition - the best bet seems to be questionable links to “Mouse Toggle”, which I prefer to avoid - downloading the Wyze APK from APKMirror was as far as I’ll go.

The regular Wyze/Alexa integration is “cute” - it puts up a single camera and audio for 10 minutes or perhaps more, but it’s not a complete solution.

Then I tried “mirroring” from a phone but found that the Firestick depends on Miracast mirroring, which my Android phones refuse to support, even after futilely trying “WiFi Direct” approaches.

Is TinyCam the only feasible approach to getting multiple WyzeCams on my TV? I have been avoiding that complication.

This issue would go away if (a) there were a browser based Wyze viewer or (b) the Wyze app were tablet/Fire/keyboard aware (it’s actually quite squooshed even on the login screen) or © the Alexa skill were enhanced or (d) there were an Amazon store Wyze version.

Any suggestions appreciated. Thanks.

P.S. I already use an old phone as a dedicated console for a few things, but the Wyze app routinely loses contact with my cameras after a certain period of viewing time. Might be a resource issue.

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Nobody? No suggestions at all?

Don’t make me beg.

:frowning:

Not sure if it is the only way to do it, but I wouldn’t really call it a complication?

I run tinyCam on everything I can nowadays - phone, tablet, old phones used as consoles, cheap Android TV box, inside BlueStacks and MEmu emulators on PCs… Love the multi-cam views!

Using the free version as a viewer is just as simple as using the Wyze app.

In fact, IMHO it’s safer to let other people use because once it’s set up, they don’t have access to all the settings, and cannot turn the cameras off like with the Wyze app.

The only complication part is setting up the paid Pro version to be a webserver for people outside the LAN to access. But even that’s not bad at all.

Not sure about a Firestick, but I’ve been able to sideload tinyCam on anything that would run the Wyze app. In fact it often runs better!

First, thank you for replying, @sodcam !

Second, other than the installation the main “complications” I was thinking about were having to trust a 3rd/4th party with my Wyze credentials and camera feeds, and having to manage software changes, differences in feature sets, support, etc. Not an enormous thing, but small hassles. Not sure if the free version is ad supported.

But based on your input I think I’ll finally give it a shot. (I already tried sideloading the Wyze app itself but hit a snag where there is no on screen mouse support; I guess I’ll see how TInyCam fares.) Thanks again!

Hopefully it will go well! :slightly_smiling_face:

On the privacy complication, I definitely agree! In fact I have a stupid amount of gmail type addresses just for testing new apps etc. It always bugs me when apps need permission to access the phone or the contact list etc - even when the reason makes sense ( LTE signal checkers, etc) so I use these empty accounts that contain no real data. It is definitely an annoying complication, but I sleep a lot better. :slightly_smiling_face: A password manager is the key :slightly_smiling_face:

On the other thing - no onscreen mouse support - I have heard reference to this, but don’t think I have ever encountered it. What hardware are we talking about? Do you mean you cannot finger pinch zoom (I have encountered this with emulators) , or something worse?

Anyhow, there are a lot of YouTube vids about tinyCam that show and tell everything very well. But two specific tips to make it fast and easy:

-> When you set up the cams, set up one first and then open it to view it. You don’t get the 2FA screen until then.

-> Once that one is set up and authenticated, go back to manage cams and use the Copy feature to add more cams. That way you only have to 2FA once, and you just have to edit the name and channel of each cam as you go along. Very quick and simple!

On the ads, yeah, there are some, but they are not bad at all. I’ve just gone ahead and paid for several copies of the Pro version because I was so impressed with what all tinyCam can do. It really is amazing! :slightly_smiling_face:

On feed privacy, yes, I use all my Wyze cams looking out doors or in public spaces indoors. I don’t trust even one cloud vendor but so much! :wink:

Yeah, I’m talking about my Amazon Firesticks; see the beginning of the thread. They are based on Android but they don’t offer native mouse support for normal (sideloaded) Android apps, and there’s no touch screen, just the hardware remote control; the arrow keys won’t substitute for a mouse without some apparently sketchy software. So the Wyze app launches, lets me enter credentials, and just sits there waiting for a screen button click. TInyCam might or might not have the same limitation. I’m moderately allergic to ads but I still might give it a go.

Simultaneous RTSP + Normal Wyze app behavior would obviate the need for this, as would a Fire aware Wyze app (landscaped), as would a browser client. Ah well.

Hmm, come to think of it, trusting TInyCam with my Wyze credentials also means they could control my newly installed smart bulbs (or other Wyze products I install). :frowning:

Thanks again for the advice and suggestions.

Thanks for explaining that re the Firestick. The closest I’ve come to that type of situation is a Roku or smart TV - where navigation is also often tedious. :angry: At least the Android TV boxes support these little Bluetooth type controllers which are a keyboard, mouse and game pad all in one.

Agreed! The landscape awareness issue is a constant annoyance when using the Wyze app in just about every Android emulator I have tried to run on a PC.

Yeah, and I hate handing out my credentials also! The only consolation is that the two factor authentication should in theory alert you if anyone tried to misuse them.

One last thought - when you install tinyCam, it will offer to preload 16 random public camera from around the world so you can get a feel for the app and the multicam screens, etc, without divulging any private information. Kinda interesting to see all the empty beaches and cities due to COVID while waiting for Wyze to become browser aware… :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

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So apparently the closest platform to Firestick is “Android TV” but that doesn’t have native mouse support either? The legitimate download for Mouse Toggle costs 3 bucks and is itself very low rated. I must be missing something. Surely there is a way to do this without buying or pirating a bad app?

Not sure if it is “the closest” - have to ask someone more familiar with all the set top box offerings these days - but yes it’s a definitely viable alternative.

Not true! It has very native mouse support - just plug it into the USB port. :grinning:

What I ran into was keyboard support - yes, it has native USB keyboard support, but the ones I have laying around don’t have all the spiffy volume and gaming keys, etc. But even with a plain USB keyboard, you can do most everything with a little study. A lot of “alt-Tab” and function key usage. :wink:

One limit may be the number of USB ports. Mine came with one USB 2 and one USB 3 port and I wanted to plug in a USB Fan, keyboard, mouse and thumb drive (to save video on). The easy way around this limit is a USB hub.

But the excellent reality is that many of them come with these nifty lighted cordless “keyboard - touchpad - game pad” combo devices. They have all the special keys and - once you get used to them - work great for controlling Android TV boxes, a Raspberry Pi, or just even regular PCs. If you can run a gamepad you can run one of these. They are much smaller than they look in the pictures! :hushed:

The Android box I got supports microSD storage as well as USB 3 so you also have options there.

There’s a huge variety of Android TV boxes from $300 Nvidia Shield down to $40 hockey pucks. I have a hockey puck streaming a couple of cams to a elderly relative who knows how to open a web browser and not much else techwise. So others can better explain the wonders of owning a Shield and what you can do with it.

But before investing in anything, definitely play with tinyCam Free on any Android device - it makes a nice viewer just as a standalone app, but there are differences that you may not care for.

Here’s the stuff I used - you really only need the TV box unit to start with.

It was planned as a cheap-as-possible proof-of-concept but ended up working quite well. Anyhow, I will definitely buy a more powerful Android TV box for the next one.

Also you may need a long HDMI cable if you want to run it with a wired mouse & keyboard on the coffee table in front of you. But it comes with a short one for once you’re ready to leave the Android box up by the TV and run it with the wireless pad thingy.

Once it’s set up and running, it will run headless just fine and you can use the TV and HDMI cable for other tihings. And obviously you can use a regular HDMI monitor instead of a TV if you don’t need sound.

If you need a spare

For cooling the hot running hockey puck - I strapped the puck on top of this

Can never have too many USB ports

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Wow that’s a lot of good info, thanks. My hesitation (aside from native laziness) is that we’re already “invested” and pretty happy with 4 or 5 admittedly cheap Firesticks. But I did look into the other stick/puck options years ago and nearly went that way. Maybe there are hacks to get Firesticks to support some form of USB input.

If we changed out the Amazon dongles (which I would consider since they replaced the Chromecasts I had grown to hate) the Android dongles/pucks would just have to support the usual array of streaming services, including Prime and Netflix, for us to be happy.

Come to think of it, Amazon has really dropped the ball lately anyway since they and Roku are in a pissing match with ATT that is leaving all their customers without an official way to get HBOMax. (I just sideloaded it, but it’s a month already and they are still screwing their other customers.)

Well, that’s one “Golden Rule” that took me too long to learn! When it comes to what other people use, especially family, “if it works for them, it works.” :slightly_smiling_face:

Now I only suggest radical changes when’s there’s an insanely compelling reason, like security or safety. And most people I know with Firesticks seem to like them fine, but I’m not up on the latest about ATT vs HBOMax.

The funny thing is that I hardly ever use the Android TV box as a TV box. To me it’s just another Android tablet that can be connected to a really huge screen when needed. It does YouTube, Prime, Netflix, Kodi, Mobdro, Crackle, etc, and most apps have loaded or sideloaded just fine, except Mobizen Mirroring for some odd reason.

Most of the time it sits quietly in a corner as a headless web server for the LAN, solving one of the great annoyances that I don’t believe Wyze has fixed yet - granular control of camera sharing! :grinning:

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On the privacy issue with copying credentials into another app: I setup another wyze account, and using the wyze app on the main account, shared the individual camera feeds with the second “user”. The second user only has access to those cameras, can’t access onboard storage, can’t control pan.
I’m only getting started, but what I’ve done is only use this second user in tinycam.

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I just ran across this video about running tinyCam on a Firestick to view Wyze cams. It’s pretty recent - May 2020 - so could be fairly accurate?

He keeps mentioning “pro” but didn’t do anything in the video that I noticed that you can’t do on the free version. Also he mentions something about buying it for every device, which has not been my experience - you just buy it once for each Play Store account and use it on many devices. I can’t imagine that Firesticks are different?

When adding cams, using the “copy camera” function makes life way way easier because you don’t have to keep entering your login/pwd and 2FA info. Just do it on the first cam and copy from there - it automatically increments the Wyze channel number. All you have to do is edit the names if you wish.

Since I don’t have any Firesticks, you’ll have to let me know if the info in the video sounds solid… :slightly_smiling_face:

Thanks! He does make it sound crazy easy. The Firestick app section is a mess, but down under Apps, Utilities is an option for TinyCam PRO for $3.99. So that’s probably why that is the version he references in the video.

I expect I could sideload the free version BUT I don’t know whether it would suffer the same “but there’s no touchscreen or mouse” issue I had when sideloading the Wyze app itself.

One interesting thing I learned from the video was that TinyCam treats all the Wyze account devices as “channels”, whether cams or not, and apparently in the order they appear in the Wyze app. I noticed something similar with ancient versions of the Wyze app and how they are able to see new devices like the bulbs even though they don’t know how to control them. I wonder if the channel number changes if you reorder them in the native app…

Hmm, I just tried downloading the free version and got 403 errors from APKMirror. That never happened before. I’ll try again another time.

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You are on top of things today! :slightly_smiling_face:

First, yes, it is a lot easier than I had thought before trying it.

YES! Have you ever noticed how so many (but not all) YouTube videos will show you only the easy stuff, and of course only post the take where it works. Naturally I would do the same if I were to ever make a video, but still, you are left in the weeds the minute anything gets complex or departs from the norm.

(Still, I greatly appreciate all YouTube educational video attempts because they did all the work and I generally something from it.)

Makes sense!

This is what I’m really interested to find out - in the video it looked like he was just kind of "tab"ing about between fields? The complex part not shown was, can you pinch and zoom in on the video image? Or is there a keystroke combo on the remote that achieves this? But really you don’t need a mouse much in tinyCam.

Oh God yes! :weary:

You start reordering cams in the Wyze app and it plays havoc with your tinyCam layout. And when you add cams, Wyze puts them at the top and everything shifts.

That’s why I hinted that naming cams was optional - I gave up on that and just leave the channel numbers as the names. But I’m adding and subtracting cams at a rampant pace, grouping and ungrouping, trying out different things and accounts, etc.

Once you get everything set and a stable layout in the Wyze app, tinyCam is well behaved. And I really don’t know how a third party app developer could avoid this issue if they are directly reading the Wyze streams in that manner.

But, you may avoid this if using the RTSP firmware? Since that has relatively fixed addresses for each cam? Another detail that didn’t come up in the video.

Also, drag and drop reordering of cams in tinyCam - works perfect on devices, but not always the case on emulators, and I suspect Firesticks. So you have to manually edit the channel numbers to reorder the cam sequence.

Hmm… :thinking: No way to download it on something else and manually load it on the Firestick? I guess this is also the mouse problem - no USB access?

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Yeah no way other than self hosting it on your own site or something. Not a big deal; there are other repositories and I can always try another browser, although for some reason “Downloader” is the only app that by default lets you download anything onto a stick - the Firefox for Firestick is read-only, which is weird and disappointing.

Thanks for the feedback.