Mirroring Android Displays to PC – 2014 Update.
Back in 2013 I wrote this guide for mirroring Android tablets on a PC so they can be seen on a whiteboard. This involved a rather long-winded installation of a paid program on the PC and a free app on the android tablet.
What I’d like is an easy way to do this like Reflector or Airserver on the iPad as I mentioned here. With the launch of full screen casting on the Google Chromecast it looked like there was a solution at hand. The Chromecast is a great device (I actually have one at home for personal use with my Nexus 7) but there are a couple of issues here for schools.
- It needs to connect to a computer or whiteboard via a HDMI input. Most of the schools we work with are still using VGA connections on laptops and projectors. You can buy a VGA to HDMI converter but they are around £30 on top of the price of the Chromecast.
- Chromecasts only cast the full screen on some android tablets. A list of supported devices that allow full screen casting can be found here. For most tablets the Chromecast will only share the display from a few apps such as Netflix and Youtube.
You can now use Airserver to display an android tablet on a PC screen but once again there are limitations. It has to be on a PC running Windows 8.1 and it has to have compatible wifi adapter. When I tried it on a Windows 8.1 laptop it was not compatible.
After lots of searching I think I’ve found a solution. Mobizen is a free PC program and Android app that lets you wirelessly mirror your Android screen to a PC or Mac display. It also does a lot more including transferring files and controlling your Android screen with your mouse on your PC. Their web site has lots of examples.
I’ve trialled this on a Nexus 7 (2013 version) and also on a £68 Hisense Sero 8.
The app and their web site has instructions but I’ll list what I did and point out some things I found.
- Download the free PC program from https://www.mobizen.com/ and open it.
- Download the free Mobizen app from the play store and open it.
- Enable USB debugging on your Android tablet. To do this you need to go to settings and scroll almost to the bottom and click on Developer options, then click on USB debugging. In Android 4.4 Developer options is hidden. You can enable it by going to settings >About Tablet. Now tap on Build Number seven times (All very James Bond!) this allows you to go into Developer Mode and enable USB debugging.
- Sign up for an account and log in with the same user name (email) and password on the tablet and the PC.
- The first time you connect use a USB cable so that the computer can install the required drivers.
After that you should be good to go. Open the program on the PC enter the password and you can see your device, with or without a USB cable in portrait or landscape mode. You can press Cotrol and Enter to go full screen. For more details go to https://www.mobizen.com/ or go to this page for help and support.
I’ve contacted Mobizen for details or school licences as opposed to personal ones and will update this post when I get more information.