Phyphox can be controlled remotely from any device that is on the same network as the phone and has a contemporary web browser. On this page we will explain, how this works. You may want to watch the short video below or read the extensive explanation after the video.
What does being on the same network mean? The two typical examples for a network on the phone are the cellular data connection and WIFI. You might also create a network through USB or Bluetooth, but we would only suggest this for advanced users. Usually, you cannot directly connect another device to your phone through the cellular data connection, so we will be talking about WIFI.
Being on the same network now means, that your phone and the other device can talk directly via WIFI. An obvious example would be, if both devices are connected to the same WIFI network (access point). For example, if you try phyphox at home, it is quite likely, that your notebook and your phone already are on the same network – your home WIFI. In this case, you can just skip to the next step, but if you intent to use phyphox in a public place (like a university WIFI), you should read on…
Many more professional WIFI setups do not allow for devices to communicate to each other or they may distribute the users to different subnets for technical reasons. In this case it might work one day and not work on the other, because your devices have been assigned to different subnets. Also, even if your network allows this, you would not want to use it to control your experiment as every student on the same network would be able to control the experiment as well.
Our recommendation: The most secure alternative if you are not at home on your private WIFI – and usually also the fastest solution – is setting up your phone as a mobile hotspot. Pretty much every modern phone has this option, which is meant to share you phone’s internet connection with another device. If you enable the mobile hotspot function, your phone acts like a WIFI router and your other device can connect to it like to any other WIFI network. If you setup a password, the connection is encrypted and secure and as there is a direct connection between both devices, the communication is as fast as it gets through WIFI.
To find out, how to set up a mobile hotspot on your phone, you should use a search engine (Google, Bing, etc.) and enter your phone make and model along with “mobile hotspot”. Usually, you should find many guides…
A little warning: The primary use of the hotspot function is sharing the phone’s internet connection with other devices, so any network connection from your second device will use your mobile data plan. Usually, this is ok, but if you are using for example a laptop PC, be careful that your PC does not use up your download quota by downloading a 1GB windows update or something similar. Phyphox will not use up your data, but software on the second device might do so. On Android you can simply turn off your mobile data to prevent this, but unfortunately Apple does not allow using the hotspot while there is not data connection on the iPhone. This also means, that you cannot use it when you are abroad without a roaming data plan.
2. Web browser
3. Creating the connection
You have your phone on the same network as the other device with a web browser (i.e. your notebook)? Then open your experiment in phyphox on your phone and pick “allow remote access” from the menu (usually in the top-right corner or from the menu button on older Android models). Confirm the security warning and you will get a message at the bottom of your experiment screen with a slightly cryptic address like http://192.168.43.1:8080.
Now open your browser on the other device and enter exactly this address into the address bar of the browser. You should see the experiment in the browser and can now control it from there or directly download the data in your favorite data format.
(Sometimes phyphox will show more than one address. This may be the case if your phone is connected to more than one network, for example if the cellular data connection is still enabled in addition to the WIFI hotspot. Don’t worry, just try both addresses – one of them should work.)