December 14, 2016

Screen Mirroring Technology for 2017

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Screen mirroring technology has become more mainstream over the last few years. Prominent tech companies such as Samsung, Google and Apple have adopted screen mirroring in the form of their “Cast” and “AirPlay” technology. So what is screen mirroring and how does it work?

What is screen mirroring?
Screen mirroring is a form of wireless communication between devices that allows users to stream media, display content, record videos and more from one device screen to another. To put it simply, it’s a way for your phone, tablet or computer screen to appear on another screen wirelessly.

This technology is used in many industries to quickly and easily share content from one device to another. Educators, gamers, business professionals and general consumers use screen-mirroring technology for in-class content sharing, collaboration, meetings and mobile gameplay recording. For instance, screen mirroring can be used to take the budget reports or family photos on a little mobile device screen and wirelessly display it on a bigger, more visible screen.

How does is work?
There is no universal way to mirror device screens across all platforms. This can become confusing and frustrating to understand since each device uses different terminology and requires a different process. A lack of consistency has put an emphasis on third-party screen-mirroring solutions with cross-platform capabilities.

Here’s how screen mirroring differs among popular mobile devices and industries:

  • iOS devices: Use native AirPlay by swiping up from the bottom of the iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch and select “AirPlay Mirroring” to view a list of available AirPlay receivers. Available receivers to connect to include Apple TV (hardware) and Reflector (an AirPlay and Cast receiving software for Mac/PC).
  • Chromebooks: Use native Cast technology built into the device by right clicking on the user icon in the bottom right-hand corner of the Chromebook desktop, select “Cast Devices Available” and choose from the list of available receivers to mirror to. Available receivers to connect to include Chromecast and Reflector.

Here’s how screen mirroring differs among popular laptops:

  • macOS computers  – These devices can screen mirror or stream content using built-in AirPlay (only available on Apple laptops released in 2012 or later) to Apple TV (hardware) or devices that are running Reflector, such as Windows computers, Android devices and Amazon Fire TV. In addition, adding third-party screen-mirroring software such as AirParrot allows Mac users to mirror or stream content to Chromecast or Apple TV with advanced features.
  • Windows computers – These devices are not equipped with native screen-mirroring technology. However, users can add AirParrot software to a computer to wirelessly mirror and stream content to Apple TVs, Chromecasts and Reflector-enabled devices.

Cloud-based screen-mirroring technology is a more recent screen-mirroing development.

  • Ditto – Ditto is a cloud-based screen-mirroring technology that’s commonly used in business, higher education and hospitality environments. It assigns unique identification codes to Apple TVs and Chromecasts. Anyone with a Mac or Windows computer can walk into a room, enter that code at www.goditto.com and automatically connect their computer to the appropriate AirPlay or Cast receiver.

Education
Educators use screen mirroring to display and compare student work, record lesson plans, allow students to compete in education games side-by-side and so much more. Schools use third-party screen-mirroring receivers such as Reflector to wirelessly display mobile devices on the teacher’s computer. Teachers can then display student content to the entire class by hooking up their computer to a projector or interactive whiteboard. This is a perfect way to display art projects, compare a history report or have fun student competition with apps like Quizlet.

Gaming
Mobile gamers use screen-mirroring solutions to mirror gameplay from their device to a computer screen. They are able to record the gameplay and upload the video, or live stream it from their device directly to YouTube when using a solution such as Reflector. So if you are an avid Candy Crush player, this is how you can record your skills and upload gameplay for the world to see. 

Business
Business professionals share presentations or reports, brainstorm and collaborate with one another directly from their tablets or phones to a computer screen or share from a computer screen to an Apple TV or Chromecast. Small businesses all the way up to enterprise-level companies can benefit from a screen-mirroring experience, whether you are brainstorming on the next t-shirt design or sharing a budget report.

Do you have any screen-mirroring experience or unique applications? Leave us your feedback in the comment section below. Check out the Squirrels suite of cross-platform screen-mirroring technology at www.airsquirrels.com for more details.

March 16, 2016

How to distribute AirParrot screen-sharing technology at your university

Purchasing software for an entire school or university often leaves you with hundreds or thousands of product licenses that need to be distributed to campus facilities, professors and students. If you’ve been in the education technology business for long, you understand distributions of this size can become complex quickly.

We make it easy for schools and universities to distribute large quantities of our AirParrot 2 desktop screen-mirroring software by providing several distribution options.

Option 1: Ideal for distributing AirParrot 2 to university-owned computers
We provide one universal AirParrot 2 license key in instances where the software needs to be distributed to university-owned computers. The software can automatically be deployed to every computer using this distribution method.

Option 2: Ideal for distributing AirParrot 2 to students and professors
After placing an AirParrot bulk order, we can conveniently send a unique promo code for each user license required. From there, you can distribute the promo codes among the users. Each user can then go to our website, enter the one-time promo code and download AirParrot 2.

This process is more beneficial for a university than sending one universal license for the entire order because it reduces the risk of license abuse. Each license is registered to a specific user rather than the university as a whole, so it will be easy to identify the offending individual if necessary. This helps prevent potential license abuse cases such as:

  • A user posting his or her license key online
  • A user giving his or her license key to friends and family
  • A user illegally selling his or her license key

Bulk Pricing
We provide bulk pricing and combo bulk pricing as well. If you purchase a bulk order of AirParrot 2 and later determine you need more licenses, we’ll count all previous purchases toward your reduced-rate bulk pricing so you get the best possible value.

AirParrot 2 costs $12.99 in our online store. The AirParrot 2 bulk pricing tier can be found below.

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For more information about AirParrot 2, visit http://www.airsquirrels.com/airparrot/. Click the “Request a Quote” link on this page if you would like to contact one of our representatives with pricing inquiries.

Check out our new AirParrot 2 iOS companion app, AirParrot Remote. It allows users to control AirParrot 2 from their iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch.

As always, don’t hesitate to let us know if you have any comments or questions in the replies below!

August 24, 2015

Introducing Reflector Student

Our latest advancement in screen-mirroring technology allows students to use their iPads and iPhones to see their teacher’s computer screen in real time. It also provides new connection methods in schools with restrictive networks. Oh yes, teacher friends. We’re excited about it, too.

Reflector Student is a free Reflector 2 companion app that runs on each student’s
iOS device. The app wirelessly communicates with the Reflector 2 software running on the teacher’s computer to display a live look at the teacher’s screen on every connected student device.

Reflector Student decreases classroom reliance on SMART boards and projectors and enables schools to get more out of their Reflector Student Pairing Optionsmobile devices. Students can now view the same websites, videos, peer work and presentations displayed on the big screen in the palm of their hands. This reduces the strain on students with visibility issues. It also allows teachers to show students what’s happening on their classmates’ screens.

The Reflector Student app acts as a workaround for schools that experience Reflector 2 connectivity problems. It should resolve issues for schools that host their student and teacher devices on separate networks. New Reflector 2 connection methods include:

  • Bluetooth discovery
  • Quick Connect Codes™
  • iOS camera linking

We know educators are always looking for the latest and greatest technology to keep their classrooms ahead of the curve. That’s why we’re constantly working on new screen-mirroring solutions to bring to your students.

Stay tuned for more updates. As always, feel free to offer suggestions or feedback in the comment section below. We love to hear from our friends and fans!

Click here for more information about Reflector Student.

Reflector Student

March 21, 2014

Reflector for Windows 1.3.4 is available

Reflector for Windows version 1.3.4 is now available. This version adds Windows 8 recording, along with numerous bug fixes and optimizations. The trial period has also been improved. Previously, the trial was limited to one ten-minute mirroring session every ten minutes. Version 1.3.4 removes the ten-minute restriction, and the trial is now good for seven full days.

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Version 1.3.4 changes include:

  • Reflector now has a fully-functional, seven day trial (with subtle watermark)
  • Added a new first-launch splash screen and registration window
  • Recording is now fully supported on Windows 8
  • Supported iOS devices mirror at 1080p when “Optimize For” is set to Hi-Res
  • Added option to use a computer’s MAC address as the Bonjour Device ID
  • Added option to allow Reflector to prevent system shutdown during active mirroring connection
  • Reflector now properly remembers the “Show Device Frame” option between launches
  • Reflector now encrypts the AirPlay password in the configuration file
  • Reflector now disables the screensaver while an active mirroring session is connected
  • Resolved an issue during recording that caused the audio and video to become unsynced
  • Resolved an issue that caused domain deployment registry entries to become unreadable by Reflector
  • Resolved an issue that permanently hid the Task Bar when Reflector closes while in full-screen mode
  • Resolved an issue that could prevent YouTube videos from streaming properly
  • Resolved a crash when saving a recording in “Optimize For iPhone 5” mode
  • Resolved a crash when pasting a license key in the registration window
  • Resolved a hang when two or more devices disconnect simultaneously

Full release notes for version 1.3.4 can be found here: http://www.airsquirrels.com/reflector/release-notes/?os=Windows

You can download this update by selecting “Check for Updates…” from the Reflector menu. The new version of Reflector can also be downloaded from here: http://www.airsquirrels.com/reflector/download/