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PageKite for Android

By Bjarni Rúnar 2012-09-27, 17:13

Q: What kind of web server costs less than a laptop but ships with redundant power, redundant networking and only draws about 10 watts of electricity when in use?

A: An Android phone!

Today we released to Google Play the first version of PageKite for Android:

From the app description:

PageKite makes it easy for your Android device to become a public web server or SSH server, even if it is on 3G or trapped behind NAT or strict firewalls.

PageKite gives your droid a public name and establishes a connection between a server app of your choice and a public frontend relay server (a reverse proxy). You can either run the relay on a server of your own, or use the public relay service provided by

This is a very exciting release for us, partially for technical reasons (this is the first app built on our high performance embeddable C library), but mostly because we think Android devices have massive untapped potential as personal servers and platforms for experimentation and innovation.

Google like to boast that over a million new Android devices are activated every single day. One of the interesting things about this incredible growth becomes apparent when you consider the average lifetime of each phone: in two years, over a million Android devices will be retired every single day due to broken screens, dead batteries or just because they have been replaced by something newer and shinier.

In most cases, these retired devices will still be quite capable little computers. Most will still have working WiFi and 3G networking, they will have working microphones, speakers and cameras. They will have working GPS receivers and accelerometers. And once they've been deemed "obsolete", for whatever reason, they will become so cheap as to be effectively free.

There are lots of these retired phones out there already and we think they deserve a second life.

Every single one of them could be a personal web server. A live web-cam. A baby monitor. A remote-controlled music player. A tracking device for your car. Or all of the above.

All it takes is a USB charger and the right apps. While testing PageKite for Android, we spent 10 dollars and 10 minutes to turn a retired old HTC G1 into a live web-cam at our office, using PageKite and a free IP camera app we found on Google Play. The hardest part was to figure out how to keep the phone from falling over...

So we're excited. :-)

Please, try the app and let us know if you do something cool with it. Tell your friends! Together, we can recycle all the phones!


  1. Már said on 2012-09-27, 17:58
    Live webcam link or it didn't happen! :-)
  2. Bjarni Rúnar said on 2012-09-27, 18:02
    I said it was a webcam! Not that it was a webcam that could take the kind of slashdotting I would love for this blogpost to get. ;-) But as a hint, you know where my blog is...
  3. bryon said on 2012-09-27, 19:46
    any chance you could do a simple writeup on the webcam you put together with PageKite?
  4. Bjarni Rúnar Einarsson said on 2012-09-27, 20:04
    It was literally just "install PageKite and IP Webcam and point them at each other".

    Maybe I will write a post or HowTo with screenshots and further commentary, once it's been running a bit longer - because to be honest I have not been happy with the stability of the solution and I may need to either find a better webcam app, or concede that there is too little RAM in my G1.

    The Webcam I am currently using is:

    It works pretty well, at least for a little while...
  5. Halli Jó said on 2012-09-29, 00:19
    The streaming works like a charm on my Galaxy Nexus.
    Is the Android PageKite open source "yet" ? I would like to check out the NDK stuff.
    Thanks !
  6. Halli Jó said on 2012-09-29, 00:53
    Found it!

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