Frequently Asked Questions

Santa and his Elves know that everyone needs a little help once in a while. Sometimes, with a little research and a bit more “know-how,” we can figure things out on our own.  Our team put together this list of FAQs in order to assist you. Hopefully, you will find the answer to your question here.  If not, please feel free to contact our support team. Just be sure to give them some time to answer.

It is also a great idea to follow SSC on Facebook or Twitter for the latest updates. Signing up for the newsletter can provide you with the latest app updates, specials and quick tips.

Elf Notes
If you’ve already checked and have sufficient memory available, please check your device to see how many apps are open. For Android devices, click the square on the bottom left that displays all executing apps, then press Clear All to close everything. On Apple, press the Home button twice and swipe away any open apps. When you reopen the Santa Spy Cam app, processing shouldn’t run into any conflicts.
You should be able to select “Restore Purchases” under the “Shop” tab, though we have seen from some users that it can take up to an hour for purchases to restore. This may have been due to the iTunes servers getting overwhelmed when we released the last update.

Please restart the app (close by double clicking the home button and swipe away the app preview), restore purchases and check the app again in an hour.

If this doesn’t work, delete the app from your device completely and re-download it from the App store (Apple will not charge you again). This clears app storage from your device and gives is a “fresh start.” As soon as you open the app, click on “Shop” and restore purchases. All previously purchased scenes and features will be refreshed.

Check your device’s settings. Make sure SSC has permission to use the Camera AND Microphone.

Also, make sure you have plenty of storage space for the app to download the scene. SSC can take 2-4.5GB depending on how many scenes you have downloaded.

Check your devices settings. Make sure SSC has permission to access your Photo Gallery.

Also, make sure you have plenty of storage space to save your processed videos.

Santa Spy Cam is a powerful app that fuses high quality videos to your image or video. Therefore, it is very demanding on memory.

Here a few steps you can take to make it run smoother:

  1. Have at least 2GB of available memory to start. Each time you use a scene, additional footage will be downloaded. If you were to use/download every scene the app could take up to 4.5GB, and that’s not counting your final videos.
  2. SSC 3 is best for Apple devices iOS 7.0 and up, as well as all Android devices running 4.0 and up.
  3. Turn off all other running apps in order to free up processing memory. You must do this manually for both Android and Apple devices. You do not want other apps running in the background and taking up bandwidth.
  4. Free up storage memory by backing up/deleting old apps, photos and videos. A minimum of 2GB of available memory is suggested.
  5. For best performance when downloading or purchasing, a good Wi-Fi connection is highly recommended. Downloading will occur the first time a scene is used/viewed (iOS) or processed (Android). Some public Wi-Fi connections will not allow large file downloads.
  6. It is best if you do not  allow your phone to fall asleep during processing.
Unfortunately, due to a technical error, Google Play Store has removed the Christmas 2014 version of Santa Spy Cam™. The version now available for download is technically a totally different app, therefore purchases will not sync.

Good news: An update will be available in this new app in time for Christmas 2015. It will include major enhancements and compatibility. 2014 was the first time SSC was available for Android, and over the past year the Development Elf has taken it apart and made it so much better. You will be happy with the results.

Please update your app to the latest update, Santa Spy Cam 3 for 2015.

You purchases will still be available once restored.

Santa Spy Cam is a powerful app that fuses high quality videos to your image or video. Therefore, it is very demanding on memory.

Here a few steps you can take to make it run smoother:

  1. Have at least 2GB of available memory to start. Each time you use a scene, additional footage will be downloaded. If you were to use/download every scene the app could take up to 4.5GB, and that’s not counting your final videos.
  2. SSC 3 is best for Apple devices iOS 7.0 and up, as well as all Android devices running 4.0 and up.
  3. Turn off all other running apps in order to free up processing memory. You must do this manually for both Android and Apple devices. You do not want other apps running in the background and taking up bandwidth.
  4. Free up storage memory by backing up/deleting old apps, photos and videos. A minimum of 2GB of available memory is suggested.
  5. For best performance when downloading or purchasing, a good Wi-Fi connection is highly recommended. Downloading will occur the first time a scene is used/viewed (iOS) or processed (Android). Some public Wi-Fi connections will not allow large file downloads.
  6. It is best if you do not  allow your phone to fall asleep during processing.
The Story: You will want to create an alibi for why you were able to capture this video. Many parents have their child set out a camcorder to catch the action. (This was then “downloaded onto your phone.” *hint *hint) Others say there is a “Santa-approved” app that only triggers if he or the elves are present.

Security: We recommend hiding the SSC app icon in a folder with other apps that your kids aren’t interested in. Also, completely close the SSC app after each use.

There are some other apps out there (especially for Android)  that allow you to child lock your phone or passcode lock folders or apps. If you are concerned about your child digging into your phone, this may be something to look into. Just remember, children are curious and often know how to use these devices better than we do at a very early age.

1.  Practice! Scale and align the character by moving and pinching the “Action Box.” Flip the character by tapping the Flip Arrows icon in the middle of the box. Play around until you get the result you want. Bonus: you can readjust the character even after you shoot the scene, just in case you move, giving you magical results.

2.  Have good lighting.  Test that your character looks natural in the setting you want to place them. Try different pictures or different amounts of light in the room. Dark rooms don’t usually work well, since it give the characters a radioactive glow.

3.  Shoot straight on.  Try not to angle the camera up or down too much. Being eye level with the character you are placing in the scene will help give a more realistic result.

4. If you are using Pro Video mode, use a tripod or place your camera on a steady surface to reduce shake. The steadier the better.

Each user can bring their own style and unique angle to Christmas with this app, especially since your own home features in the scenes you create. Here are a few tips to make it easier to have better results.

  1. Use Pro Video mode for living backgrounds. The whole scene comes to life when you can see trees moving, lights sparkling and pets running around in the background.
  2. If you are using Pro Video mode, use a tripod or place your camera on a solid surface to prevent shake.
  3. Make sure your camera (i.e., your phone) is level to the the floor (not tipped forward or up).  Being close to eye level to the character you are placing on the background helps a lot. You’ll likely have to get low for the elves.
    Doing this helps get you set up for scenes like  “Peek-A-Boo,” which requires that you line up the elf entrance to a vertical object, like a door frame or a picture.
  4. Be sure to have good lighting to match the scene. Most scenes are designed for indoor use in a well lit room.
  5. Before and after shooting a picture, you can move, scale and flip the Action Box to fine-tune your scene before pressing the “PROCESS” button. This is how you can make sure that ropes aren’t floating in mid-air and the Elves have proper hiding places to peak from (instead of peaking from behind an invisibility cloak).
  6. Take your time to create the most believable scenes possible. Sometimes you may want to re-arrange objects on a table or take a few steps back to make a scene look amazingly real. If the elf leaves something in the scene or Santa eats the cookies, you’ll want mimic this to leave evidence. Who doesn’t want to eat cookies? (Just be sure to leave some crumbs at least.)
You can preview each scene in the app by clicking it, then going to the TIPS button. You can also preview before buying by clicking each scene.

Additionally, a preview of all of the scenes is on our Youtube channel.

Collection contains all scenes available, found in the Shop. By purchasing the collection you can unlock the scenes for one low price, rather than paying for each individual scene. The savings can be substantial. Many parents purchase the collection and plan out their Santa Spy Cam experience throughout the month.

You can purchase scenes individually, but the collection price is not prorated based on previous individual purchases.

Each purchased scene in a collection will be downloaded the first time it is used or processed. We suggest connecting to a WIFI network at the time of download.

First, always make sure you have the latest version of the app for your device. Then purchase the “Remove Logo/Watermark” feature. This will make the watermark logo disappear from your final video. This is great for keeping the secret from curious kids.

The “Sleigh Landing” and “Sleigh Takeoff” scenes are designed to be used outdoors with your home as the backdrop. Try to shoot your scene just before dusk when there is still daylight. Pay close attention to the path of the action and edges of the “Action Box” to make sure there is plenty of room for Santa to land and take off.
Apple iOS: To save your videos to your camera roll after processing is complete, touch the button on the top right hand corner, “SAVE TO CAMERA ROLL.” Your video will be saved to your camera roll, provided you have enough memory. You can also tap the “SHARE” button and instantly upload the scene to your favorite social media profile.

Android: After processing a scene it will auto play the video for review and automatically save the video to your gallery. You can also tap the “SHARE” button and instantly upload the scene to your favorite social media profile.

Most likely, you are missing a video player app on your device. In some cases, installing a free app like Video Player for Android* can fix this.  If you continue to have problems, contact Support for assistance.

*Santa Spy Cam and BELIEVEin LLC is not affiliated with Video Player for Android or its developers. Any free video player may be downloaded to help fix the issue.

Santa Spy Cam was created to give parents a powerful tool to create magical Christmas moments for their children. It is not a “high volume” utility to create hundreds of videos, but rather, an experience that ought to be well-planned and considered.

As with all of the scenes, the free scene can be used as many times as you wish. With a little creativity and flipping the “Action Box”, these scenes can be used to create several sightings.

Purchasing the full collection will save lots of money and allow you to plan an extravaganza of Elf and Santa sightings for an for an immersive SSC experience.

You may also purchase just a few individual scenes for  $0.99 (USD) each and plan strategic moments throughout the season.  Any amount you are comfortable with will likely be the best money you spend on Christmas! Create magic and make a child’s dreams come true.

It is highly recommended that you completely close the SSC app after each use to hide it from curious eyes. Here’s a few tips on how:

Android

Visit www.wikihow.com/Close-Apps-on-Android for a few options.

Apple

  1. Double click the home button -> Display will show all apps currently running.
  2. Identify the apps you want to close and “swipe app preview up and away” to close app(s).
  3. Click the home button to return to home page OR tap the app you want to use now.
Apple devices may need to manually download purchases again. But no worries, you will not be charged again. You are simply reconnecting the app to your account history.

Visit the “Shop” to find the “Restore Purchases” button. It is STRONGLY recommended that you use a Wi-Fi connection when restoring, as it will take time to download any previously purchased and downloaded scenes.

*Android devices will automatically show purchases as long as you are logged into your Google Play account. You can not be double charged even if you try to buy an item again. If you have issues, please contact Google or Santa Spy Cam Support explaining your problem completely, including device type and operating system. 

For iOS, this is the App Store’s way of requesting confirmation to download the selected scene. No money will be exchanged, the scene will download for “free” since you paid when you purchased the scene or collection. It is highly recommended you connect to to a Wi-Fi network the first time you use a scene.
For additional help please contact Support. Please include the device you are using, what version of operating system you have, and a detailed description of the issue you are having (screen shots are great if available). Our team will help you sort it out!