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Question Mi 11 Ultra - run camera in the background?

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picitup

Senior Member
Jan 9, 2011
274
86
Deal
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Hi All I realise the security risk of this, but I want to use the Mi camera app in the background so I can use the UW lens as a dashboard cam. In the foreground will be my satnav program and also in the background will be VLC playing my favourite music.

The problem I have is that the Mi Camera app won't run in the background. If I start it and switch away, when I switch back, it's stopped recording. There are plenty of 3rd party dashcam apps, but camera2 API only reports 2 cameras and typically 3rd party apps haven't caught on to the multiple camera configs of phones these days.

I did find a setting in Settings/Privacy/Protection/Network Interception/Restrict Using camera in the background which I thought might be a clue, but the setting doesn't work and has blue text "Protected" next to it. Am I asking for the impossible? All workarounds gratefully received.... Cheers Steve

ps I'm running Chinese MIUI 12.5.4 Stable
 

speedtripler

Senior Member
Aug 24, 2013
587
147
If you can figure out some way to do this, the phone is going to get hot and you will probably need to keep it plugged in... This phone eats battery life using the cameras
 

picitup

Senior Member
Jan 9, 2011
274
86
Deal
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Hi @speedtripler thanks for your reply. After much googling and playing with privacy protection settings, I found an app, cunningly called Background Video Recorder here:


After a quick play, it seems to work, so I'll go for the 'full monty' later and try it out with Navmii navigating and VLC playing my music. I do use a power supply in the car and I'll take a bucket of water too, in case it catches fire!

My attempts with Mi camera and GCAM 8.1 failed, as both pause video recording as soon as they go into the background.

What I really wanted was the UW lens, as this will cover the most ground, but I may have to stick with plain old Wide as not many apps support multiple lenses.

I'll update later after putting the fire out :)

Cheers Steve
 
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picitup

Senior Member
Jan 9, 2011
274
86
Deal
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Ok so I did a quick test last night and ran my satnav (Navmii) in the foreground, VLC playing music in the background and Background Video Recorder in the background and it all worked just dandy.

The only slight issue is the file size was large, 700MB after 15 mins. Now I have 500GB of storage, but that's a little high. There doesn't seem to be an option to set the save location, otherwise I could save it to an SD card so I've emailed the developer with the suggestion and see what he says. Also I've asked if he can support multiple lenses, as UW would be just great.

It does offer various framerates, though and 5fps is probably OK for a dashcam so I'll give that a try and report back.

After a 15 minute drive I didn't notice any overheating problems, but I have 4 hour drive on Wednesday so see how that goes.

Cheers Steve
 

picitup

Senior Member
Jan 9, 2011
274
86
Deal
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
The nice man at Arbel Solutions replied very quickly and pointed out it is possible to save to other locations in Settings. This was greyed out so I didn't see it, but you have to pay for the software to enable it as it's a premium feature which is fair enough.

On switching lenses, this is also supported, but it just offers Main and Selfie, which ties up with the Camera2 API checkers. I guess I need to root my phone and enable Camera2 API.

That's all for now....

Steve
 

picitup

Senior Member
Jan 9, 2011
274
86
Deal
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Just a quick update on this. I ran Background Video Recorder on my trip to see my daughetr and grandkids. It's a 200 mile trek and all worked fine. I used Navmii, VLC and BVR all at once and didn't notice any over heating problems.

However, on the way back, I did the same but this time with BVR recording 8K video. Gosh, that quality is good :). Now I want to buy a 4K TV!

After a couple of hours, the phone overheated, popped up a message saying just that, so I switched it off and let it cool down. The phone is working fine again now it's cool phew! I guess @speedtripler was right lol.

The 2 issues with heat are
1) The sun was shining on the phone
2) I'm using a hard plastic backing cover on the phone to mount it on the holder

2) must frustrate heat dissipation quite a bit.
So next up is to buy some gauze on eBay, cut an opening in the backing cover and fit the gauze. If that doesn't work, I'll probably have to make a piped cooling system with a fan.

Oh well, back to reality!

Cheers

Steve
 

picitup

Senior Member
Jan 9, 2011
274
86
Deal
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Oh, I forgot there's another workaround for this. If the camera doesn't work in the background, you can run it in the foreground with other apps.

Sound simple? Well it's a bit fiddly, but Android 11 offers split screen, so you can have two apps running in the foreground. The only gotcha is that both apps need to support split screen.

Surprisingly, the stock camera doesn't so that's out. Neither does GCAM 8.1. Good 'ole OpenCamera does and it works well.

I'm still getting the hang of split screen but here's a basic guide:

1) start both apps
2) Go to Task Manager (hamburger icon)
3) long press on the first app and choose split screen ( like 2 oblong boxes, 1 on top of the other)
4) In Task Manager, click on the other app
Now the 1st app will appear in the top of the screen and the second at the bottom.

For my example, I now have OpenCamera recording video and Navmii giving me directions.

Brill!

Below is a screenshot. See the small white horizontal bar in the middle of the pic? You use this to change the size of the window. What's not to like? (sorry about getting my big finger in front of the lens)
 

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picitup

Senior Member
Jan 9, 2011
274
86
Deal
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
The grids arrived yesterday to ventilate my hard plastic case so I set about cutting holes in it to fit them. The case is very hard and difficult to scratch, but was no match for my Dremel.

Hopefully this will promote air flow and cooling when the phone is crying while it's pushed hard.

The grids were stuck on with Gasket Goo which is good up to 230° C at which point I think the phone would be spitting flames!

This needs testing on a long journey on a hot day. If it still overheats, I'll clip on a mini 5V fan which I'm sure will sort it.

A phone with a cooling fan? Lol :cool:

Cheers

Steve
 

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    Hi @speedtripler thanks for your reply. After much googling and playing with privacy protection settings, I found an app, cunningly called Background Video Recorder here:


    After a quick play, it seems to work, so I'll go for the 'full monty' later and try it out with Navmii navigating and VLC playing my music. I do use a power supply in the car and I'll take a bucket of water too, in case it catches fire!

    My attempts with Mi camera and GCAM 8.1 failed, as both pause video recording as soon as they go into the background.

    What I really wanted was the UW lens, as this will cover the most ground, but I may have to stick with plain old Wide as not many apps support multiple lenses.

    I'll update later after putting the fire out :)

    Cheers Steve