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Published by Kevin Chau on How to

Whether for work or personal usage, the physical dimensions of the typical smartphone screen is often limited. As a result, several tools in the form of physical plugins or apps have been developed to help extend the screen size of the phone for a greater viewing experience. To help mobile users mirror their screen device onto their computer or TV, this article discusses the best tools that can be utilized to view the activity of the phone on a larger screen.

Google Chrome Cast

The Google Chromecast is an inexpensive plugin that enables phone users to mirror their phone to any television even if it does not have native internet connection capabilities. By plugging the Chromecast into a TV, users are able to see the activity of their phone on a much larger screen which makes it perfect for playing games or watching videos. All that is required to activate the mirroring is to select the “Cast To” button on their phone for the streaming to begin. As the device is capable of streaming the screen of mobile phones and even computers, the Chromecast is one of the most recommended devices that can be used to enhance the mobile viewing experience. Furthermore, while mirroring, the phone then acts like a remote where users simply select the content they want to stream and then are able to exit the screen and do other activities. However, a limitation with the Google Chromecast is that for Apple products, it only works with YouTube and Netflix whereas with Android devices, the number of apps that can be streamed to the television are significantly higher.

Apple TV

Although the Google Chrome Cast is limiting for iOS devices in terms of the apps that are compatible to mirror content, Apple has devised a new tool that lets its user’s stream content to their television. As a small box with a sleek design that connects the phone, tablet, or Mac to the TV, users do not need a smart TV in order to view the content from their device onto a larger screen. Furthermore, Apple TV comes with a remote so that users are able to control certain settings including menu, volume, power, and even voice control. However, the device does not currently support multitasking as with the Google Chrome Cast where users are able to stream content to their TV while users are doing a different activity on their phone.

AirDroid (Android)

To mirror the screen of the Android device to a computer, AirDroid is a mobile app which allows for a suite of functions to better manage the mobile phone. For example, users are able to transfer files through their web browser, get notifications from their phone right to their computer, and mirror the activities of the phone screen. One of the best features of the app is that it also enables for the computer to access and control all aspects of the phone so that users do not have to be near their device in order to access it. Although there is an iOS version of AirDroid, it does not allow for screen mirroring and so it is not as applicable as it is for Android devices. However, users are still able to receive notifications and manage the content of their iOS device on the web app of the computer through the app.

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iOS Devices to a Mac

In order to stream the screen of the iPhone to Mac devices, no app or additional hardware needs to be purchased but the phone needs to be connected to the computer. To do so, users need to connect their device, select the desktop Quicktime Player app, select File in the header menu, and then New Movie Recording. From there, the iPhone will be mirrored to the Mac so that users are able to consumer their mobile content on a larger screen. However, at the expense of having to purchase additional hardware or download apps, the limitations of this method is that the cord needs to be connected to the Mac. Beyond this, this method does not support multitasking and so users are not able to do other activities on the phone while it is streaming.

As the screen of the mobile phone is often not optimized for the best viewing experience for all content such as games or videos, the devices and apps listed in this article are able to enhance the consumption of content through mirroring and streaming the screen. With these tools, users are able to extend their screen to larger ones so that the limitations associated with a smaller screen sizes can be overcome by viewing it on a television or computer both for iOS and Android devices.