Sony Action Cam with WiFi. HDR-AS15. How to connect to your phone or tablet.

The tiny WiFi enabled Sony Action Cam.

Finally my Sony Action Cam arrived. I purchased the WiFi version so I can monitor the pictures on my iPhone or iPad when setting it up or maybe when using it as an impromptu pole-cam on the end of a microphone boom pole. I have not had a chance to do take an in depth look at the images yet, the weather here is pants, grey and misty and anything I shoot at the moment looks soft. Anyway, after charging up the camera using the supplied USB cable (there’s no charger, you have to use a laptop or get a USB power adapter) I decided to try to connect it to my iPhone.

The huge but terrible Action Cam manual.

First problem: The manual is…. err…..  well….  how can I say this politely…  it’s carp. It’s a huge sheet of paper with an almost incomprehensible flow chart of the menu options and a few brief paragraphs of text. Finally I found the bit that I needed however, the WiFi connection instructions. These comprehensive (not) instructions tell you to turn the WiFi on and connect to your device using the login details on a tiny sticker attached to the giant piece of paper.

OK, so I have a login and password, but what software do I use? Eventually I found a link to the software on one corner of the manual that tells you to use something called “Play Memories Home”. At first, assuming this was an app I did a search on the Apple store and found a Sony app called Play Memories and installed this on my phone. However this is some sort of media sharing app for your photos and has no way to connect to the camera. Next I followed the link to which took me to a page where I could download a PC application, but still no iPhone app. By now I was getting somewhat frustrated, this should be really simple!

Anyway after some digging around I finally found the right app, it’s called Playmemories Mobile. Click here to go to the apple store. Even after you have installed the app things are not entirely obvious. You need to run the app on the phone, then turn on the camera. Press the Prev or Next buttons to fire up the camera and go to the setup menu, press next till you get to setup and then press the record button to select. then using prev/next go to RMOTE press record to select, and then set ON using prev/next. This turns on the WiFi. Now on the phone with the app running you will see a cryptic error message saying “Search the shooting device from the network settings of the terminal and set it”. This is telling you to go to the phones WiFi settings and search for a network with the same name as the SSID on the tiny sticker on the instruction sheet (I peeled my sticker off and stuck it on the side of the camera). Select the WiFi network and enter the supplied password. The phone should now connect to the camera, you won’t see the normal WiFi indication at the top of the phones screen. Go back to the Playmemory mobile app and you should now be able to see the live feed from the Action Cam.

What a palava! Now that I can get connected I’m pleased to say that the lag between the camera and iPhone is only minimal, about 1/3rd of a second and the image quality on the phone is plenty good enough for framing and camera setup, so I happy at last. But come on Sony, you really need to do a better job of the manual. There’s more information on EC and FCC directives on interference and battery disposal than there is on how to actually use the camera.

46 thoughts on “Sony Action Cam with WiFi. HDR-AS15. How to connect to your phone or tablet.”

  1. Thanks Alister. I was going through that huge but terrible sheet of paper trying to work out exactly the same thing. Now can you tell me how to mount the camera anywhere with a microphone plugged into the socket on the bottom? It seems much easier with a GoPro in a skeleton housing.

  2. Hi Alister,

    Got mine today … so much fun.

    FYI, I found there’s a full manual on the camera when you connect it to the computer that gives more “step by step guide” …. shame it’s not a paper manual 🙂

    (disclaimer, I work for Sony)

  3. This helped a ton, once connected the iPhone as a Viewfinder works pretty good.
    First thing I tried was the 120fps in 720p which resulted in very smooth slow motion.
    I would love to see a zoom attachment for this like you can get for the iPhone.

  4. Thanks Alister, I’ve been trying to work this out for ages!!! Worked first time with your instructions. Sony please take note, the manual is utter rubbish even the technical support team on the phone at Sony HQ couldn’t work it out.


    1. Yep, the paper manual is terrible. There is a better PDF manual stored on the camera. Connect the camera to a laptop via USB and you can open the PDF manual.

  5. I can connect to the camera hdr-as15 however my droid bionic playmemories app just says connecting….. when i select the hdr-as15 via the app. So this tells me a problem with the app exists not with the wifi on the hdr-as15. The connecting…. will just time out after some time. Ive tried starting the app first and also done it in reverse no difference…. app timesout. Im going to return to Amazon if i cant get wifi. No support from sony that i can see after looking all over net. Sony apparently has a disclaimer “this app might not work on all phones”. My quote will be not all poeple are going to put up with this type of support or the lack of for that matter.

    1. I had to change the camera time-out to 1 minute on my camera to get a successful connection the first time, if you don’t the camera WiFi times out before you can enter the password.

  6. Alister thankyou so much and Sony are you kidding me WTF is that with the WIFI set up on a iPhone. I got my camera a month ago and only today decided to hook up the WIFI , it was through the grace of God my wife hadn’t thrown out my code on the super sheet of instructions. My FS700 was easier to set up than this , really what hope do the punters have. Plus while I having a bitch I want to mount the camera without a housing.

    Here is a little video I did mounted under a surf board.

    Thanks again Alister you are the man.

    Regards Rob

    1. The other little know fact is that a better manual is stored on the camera as a PDF file. Connect the camera to a laptop and you can open and read the PDF.

  7. Have just discovered my wife has thrown out the paper with the wifi key on. Is there a default ??? Help please

  8. Hi, does anyone know or has already done to connect it to the pc (wifi) as you do with the app on the iphone?

  9. hi,
    can someone help us.
    My problem is that connecting the camera with my laptop it appears on the camera screen “USB”, but it’s not charging the battery …
    + I don’t find any pdf file on the camera …

  10. I’m guessing that your battery is dead but the camera is still in the ON mode. Disconnect the USB cable, remove the battery for 10-15 seconds then reinstall the battery. Do not push any buttons after you reinstall the battery or it will turn the camera ON and you don’t want this because it will not charge when ON. Plug the micro USB cable into your camera and you should see the little LED light up on the bottom of the camera. Let it charge for a while and you should be good.

  11. I’m really frustrated…and hugely disappointed in this camera. $300.00…are you kidding me. I’ve loaded the app on my Samsung Galaxy SIII, turned on the wi-fi, got a connection, then poof!!! Disconnected. I too have been all over the web and haven’t found a fix. I went into the SIII settings and then developer options and switched ‘off’ the DO NOT KEEP ACTIVITIES slection under Apps. Still nothing. I’m about to stomp on it to see how sturdy the housing is! Any ideas?….please e-mail. Thanks

  12. Any idea if there is a better app for the iPhone of iPad than the crappy “Playmemories” app? Can’t stream to the iPhone or iPad. Can’t copy videos if your software version on your phone or your iPad are 5.1.1 or later (uh, duh it’s the 21st century).

  13. Tx for the instructions ….. But when I try copy the video clip onto my iPhone or iPad I get a message that it can’t copy. Any ideas as to the problem?

  14. Hi there,

    I have followed all your advice and failed to connect.
    All i get from my I-phone is
    “search the shooting device from the networksetting of the terminal and set it”

    What the hell does that mean ?

    Please can anyone help? Sony you should crucified for having such stupid instructions


    1. You need to go to the wifi settings of the phone and connect to the actioncam via the wifi settings. The issue with this is you need to get the camera to stay powered up and the wifi on long enough for the phone to detect it and allow you to log on.

      1. Connecting the Actioncam HDR-AS15 to the iPad 4 9 (iOS 6.1) by wifi:
        1. Get the password (located on a little piece of paper on the instruction sheet which comes in the box). You need the password only once like any other wifi connection with your iPad. Just in case I lose the password, I took a photo of the password using the iPad camera.
        2. The default auto power off setting on the camera is 10sec. Change this to 60secs. You have to do this because while you are attempting to connect the camera to the iPad for the first time the unit powers off and the iPad can no longer detect the wifi signal from the camera.
        3. Go to settings in the iPad-Wifi. Ensure wifi is on. Wait until the iPad detects the wifi signal then select in. Enter the password which is case-sensitive.
        4. Having already downloaded and installed Playmemories Mobile from the iTunes store onto your iPad- open this up. The app will connect to the camera via wifi now. You can see what the camera sees, start and stop recording, change settings, and transfer videos.
        5. Connecting the camera to the iPad via wifi for the purposes of seeing what the camera sees and activating recording functions does not allow the transfer of the videos. You have to activate that function separately from the camera – then you can copy images to the iPad. It does work.

  15. Hi Alister,

    Thx for the clear explanation.

    The setup went quite good (despite the BS-manual) but the only thing I can do in the app is copying the images onto my Iphone. I don’t know how I can use the app as remote-control for my phone. Maybe I’ve overlooked something but I don’t think so.

    Any help?

    thx a lot,


  16. I have the I pad 2 with ios that is not 4.1 and I can’t download ios4.1 in order to download play memories what can I do? Help please!

  17. Hi,

    I am in the same position as Airbus 322, can view the files but there is no way of recording or changing settings.

    Can copy pictures only and that all.
    Iphone 3gs, Playmems version 2.2.0

    any info would be appreciated

    1. Are you absolutely sure you have the right app? There are two called PlayMemories. One is for browsing and copying files from various devices the other is for controlling and viewing the live camera stream. The one you want is PlayMemories Mobile.

  18. Hi Alister,

    Yes I am sure I have play mems mobile.

    I have 2 apps on the phone one is the playmems online mobile and the other is play mems mobile.

    All I seem to get from the latter is a display of images/vids in the body of the screen.
    Top left select all, top right view individual/all, bottom copy.

    With no function to record/view find or settings.

    I have tried the other app as well and there seems only to have albums/friends etc still no record/view finder option.

    Also tried vga mode for both phone and cam with no success.

    A rather annoying situation really, if you have any suggestions it would be appreciated.


  19. Anyone getting problems sending the videos to your iPhone? It appears to have worked on the phone interface, however when I check the camera roll there is no videos. It was working earlier. Any Ideas?

  20. Hi All,
    I have managed to connect my ‘phone to the camera but get an error message ‘unknown error has occurred’ when I am using the camera in movie mode. It will connect and send any files I have recorded but I can’t use the phone as a view finder. I am using an iphone 3s. Which is on ios 6.1.3. Is it simply that I need to use an iphone 4?

  21. @Riz Turn ‘Remote on’ on the camera, read the PDF carefully. Then you will get other settings when you view the app.

  22. I have hooked it up to may I pad 2 and it works great. I have tried with my iPhone 5 and it looks like it goes though, it shows up on the app but when I go to copy it to the phone it give me a basic error message on the phone. The camera is saying “cannot load on more than one device.

    any thoughts.

  23. I found opening up imovie and iphoto and connecting the usb cable, I could view and import photos and video on the imac. I then downloaded the playmemoriesmobile app to the ipad. I can see the content and it appears to copy OK then comes up with an error message – unable to copy content. I remember clicking no when it asked if the software could view my photos by mistake so it appears I have stuffed it up!. How do I undo it, tried deleting the app and downloading it again but it still comes up with the same error message and doesn’t give me the option of clicking yes this time.
    Can anyone help?

  24. I’m with Blake Canavo, you’re a genius !! and save my life and my dive trip, which will have no videos if I haven’t found your site, thanks a lot!

  25. Im really stuck if anyone can help me, the app just wont show up on the app store when i search it, and i get redirected to the homescreen when i search on pc app store… if anyone could help that’d be great!

  26. I have an iPad mini. When using PMM I can see all my pictures on my camera but it does not allow me to copy them. I get an error message. However I can do this same function on both me and wife’s IPhones. My iPad mini is running 6.1.3 and phones are on 5.1.1. On the App Store it states iOS 4.1 or later. Does the Sony Playmemories Mobile app work with 6.1.3. I thought I read somewhere that it is not supported on later than 5.1.1.

  27. I don’t think is a good product, some problem with the case (the plastic dome in front of the lens is too exposed and it’s easy to scratch it) and flares are easy. and humidity condensation just in the thinner part of the case (in front of the lens…..)
    there is not a remote control …. i cant have a i-phone in my hand when i’m riding a mountain bike or on a surf …. and why not a software to pilot it from a basic windows pc, it was so difficult ?

  28. Mate. Thank God you wrote this article. You made it so quick and easy to set up with the iphone, and it works beautifully now its up and running. Thank you so much. Really appreciated.

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