I am sad to report the demise of off-line recording. Wyze has done something in a recent release of cam firmware and/or the iOS app that killed the capability for off-line recording.
What is “off-line recording”? It’s the ability for a Wyze cam to do local recording (i.e., to an SD card) without having any internet connectivity. I’ve been a big fan of off-line recording since I got my first Wyzecam over a year ago. I’ve made a number of videos while off the grid, in fact way off the grid. @WyzeGwendolyn is a big fan of my time-lapse from a Norwegian fjord. Well, I’m sorry Gwen, there won’t be any more. I just did some testing in preparation for an upcoming trip to far-away places, and was disappointed to find that my recipe for off-line recording doesn’t work any more.
Here’s the set-up I’ve been using. Perhaps other fans of off-line recording will have some suggestions.
When on a trip, I take a small travel router (a HooToo TM01) with integrated WiFi and a 6000 mAh battery. That’s enough juice to power the cam for several hours when ‘on location’. Before departure (while still at home), I connect the router to my home network so it has internet connectivity. I associate my iPhone with the router’s AP (SSID = wyzenet), and run through the usual procedure to add the V2 cam to the Wyze app. By doing so, the cam is configured to connect to wyzenet. Then I power everything down, pack it away, and head off-grid.
At destination, I turn on the travel router, which lights up the wyzenet WiFi network.
Turn on iPhone, and select wyzenet for WiFi connection.
Power up the camera from the router’s battery. It boots up, and associates with wyzenet, since that’s the SSID that it was configured to use.
On past trips, I’ve been able to launch the Wyze app, select the camera, and Live View it. Despite the lack of internet, the app would connect to the camera directly over the WiLAN. I could configure it for continuous recording (to SD card), motion-triggered recording, or a time-lapse. In some locations, I’ve left the camera + router/battery unattended for a few hours while it captured a time-lapse. Subsequently, with the cam and iPhone connected to wyzenet, I could view any recordings, or download/view a time lapse.
But when I tested the set-up today, the Wyze app no longer connects to the camera. It just launches with an aqua screen and a “No internet connection” error. I’ve verified that the cam is indeed connected to the wyzenet WiFi. It obtained an IP address from the router (the same address that it had when originally configured at home). The iPhone can ping the camera. But the Wyze app refuses to initialize in the absence of internet.
If I connect the travel router to my home network again, the Wyze app comes back to life. Unfortunately, in my off-net travels, internet service is not an option. No cell towers, no LTE, no dial-up.
It’s a big disappointment that off-line recording no longer functions. While not part of the Wyze design intent, it was a great ‘hidden’ feature. If anyone has any insights how to restore off-line capability, please let me know. As it now stands, my trusty travel Wyzecam will stay at home on my upcoming trip, and I’ll take an old GoPro for time-lapse capture.