July 11, 2016

Apple TV and Chromecast: Which Screen-Sharing Solution is Right for You?

There are two main players in the screen-mirroring arena right now: Apple TV and Chromecast. Both have pros and cons. We’ll discuss those differences along with Ditto, the newest screen-sharing service on the market.

Functionality
While Apple TV and Chromecast were both created to solve content-sharing problems, they solve the problem differently.

Apple TV
Apple TV allows users to install apps like games, TV channels and movie/TV services such as Netflix and HBO Go. Apple TV was built to be a stand-alone unit. Users can plug it in and use the included remote to navigate menus and content.

The device pulls content from specified service providers when a user tells it to.

Both the new generation and previous generation Apple TV work this way, but the slightly older models require users to stick with preinstalled applications.

Chromecast
Chromecast was created to work with mobile devices and computers. The package does not include a remote, and when plugged in, the device will prompt the user to download a mobile application for setup. The mobile application works with both Android and iOS.

Unlike Apple TV, Chromecast does not rely on installed applications. Users push content to the device from mobile phones, tablets or computers.

Form Factor

Dittochromecast

Chromecast is meant to be hidden away behind a TV. Apple TV is meant to sit front and center for all to see.

Mobile Screen Sharing
Android users can easily share their device screen to a Chromecast. Likewise, iPad and iPhone users can easily share their screen to Apple TV. The process is similar for both setups. However, the two cannot cross. For example, iPad users cannot mirror their screen to a Chromecast and Android users cannot mirror their mobile device screen to Apple TV.

Desktop Screen Sharing
Apple users can easily share Mac screens to an Apple TV using the built in AirPlay feature. However, Apple users cannot share their entire computer display to Chromecast. Windows users actually can’t natively share their entire desktop to Apple TV or Chromecast.

Price

Apple TV
Apple TV has been available for years. The device is currently in its fourth and most expensive iteration. The new Apple TV is priced at $149 and $199 depending on storage options. The slightly older third-generation Apple TV is priced at $69.

Chromecast
The currently available 2nd-generation Chromecast retails for $35. For users who don’t need the bells and whistles of an Apple TV, it’s the more cost-effective option.

Alternative Screen-Sharing Solutions
Our team specializes in screen-sharing solutions that allow everyone, regardless of their operating system, to share to either receiver (Apple TV or Chromecast). In the screen-mirroring world, our products don’t care which receiver you use. We have bridged the technological divide between the set-top boxes and receivers created by tech giants such as Apple and Google.

Our AirParrot 2 software allows individual Mac and PC users alike to share their screen to Apple TV or Chromecast. AirParrot even allows users to mirror and stream to both Apple TV and Chromecast simultaneously, if needed.

Ditto, our newest offering, bridges this gap for organizations that may not want to purchase software for every employee and guest. It brings a unified and consistent screen-sharing experience to conference rooms and meeting spaces in any business, school or institution.

Desktop Screen SharingMultiple Users
Use the Ditto screen-sharing service to mirror employee and guest screens to Chromecast or Apple TV. Ditto is a service that allows unlimited screen sharing to a receiver regardless of the user. Ditto is priced per room, not per user, so your business doesn’t need to pay for a software license for each individual employee or guest.

Single User
AirParrot 2 is a robust, dynamic screen-mirroring and media-streaming software. It allows a single user to mirror their desktop or a single application to one or more receivers (Apple TV, Chromecast or Reflector-enabled computers) simultaneously. Once installed on a user’s computer, they can mirror their screen, stream media or extend their desktop to the appropriate receiver.

Apple TV or Chromecast?
Which solution is right for you? There isn't an easy answer! It completely depends on your personal or business-related screen-sharing needs, the devices you have available and the third party screen-sharing services you choose to use.

Learn more about our industry-leading screen mirroring and streaming solutions at www.airsquirrels.com.

October 30, 2015

AirParrot 2 Offers an Unmatched Streaming and Mirroring Experience with the New Apple TV

The first new Apple TV since 2012 promises to be one of the biggest tech hardware releases of 2015. What does this mean for AirParrot 2 customers? An unparalleled mirroring and streaming experience on a new, more powerful Apple TV.

We are excited to announce that both AirParrot and AirParrot 2 are compatible with Apple TV 4.

Use AirParrot 2 with the New Apple TV

Now that we got the good news out of the way, we’re going to hit you with more good news.

Compatibility with every mirroring-enabled Apple TV 
The price tag on the Apple TV ($150) will likely create school, business and home environments with old and new Apple TVs. Luckily, AirParrot 2 users can mirror and stream their Mac or PC screens to multiple generations of Apple TVs simultaneously without worrying about compatibility issues.

AirParrot 2 vs. AirPlay and AirParrot 1
AirParrot 2 provides a much more robust screen-mirroring solution than the built-in AirPlay function found in newer Mac models. The ability to mirror to multiple devices simultaneously, media streaming and compatibility with Apple TV, Chromecast and Reflector 2 makes AirParrot 2 a more feature-rich screen-mirroring solution.

Bonus: AirParrot 2 gives users the option to mirror specific apps or windows instead of the entire computer screen for privacy or to highlight specific content.

Stream to Apple TV 4
AirParrot 2 users can wirelessly stream their favorite movies and songs from a Mac or PC to the Apple TV 4 with the AirParrot 2 streaming feature. Are you thinking what we’re thinking? Looks like it’s time to wirelessly stream that new Adele song or Jurassic World from your computer to your Apple TV 4. Simply open AirParrot 2 and enjoy the show!

Pro tip: We recommend streaming movies rather than mirroring them for the best results.

Apple TV 4 features
Apple TV 4 boasts new features of its own including a new operating system (tvOS) with access to an App Store, deep Siri integration, a touch-based remote control that doubles as a game controller and powerful new app-development tools.

Overall, the new Apple TV and AirParrot 2 are a perfect match. Enjoy!

Learn more about AirParrot 2.

New Apple TV

October 22, 2015

What is Screen Mirroring?

The complicated answer: “Screen mirroring” is a tech-industry term used to describe a form of wireless device-to-device communication software.

In layman’s terms: “Screen mirroring” is a way to make your smart phone, tablet and computer screens appear on other screens. Simple, right?wireless screen-mirroing

The screen-mirroring market is young, and unlike the smart phone or tablet industry, screen-mirroring technology lacks a universally accepted word or application that defines it.

We often find that people don’t know what to look for when they need a mirroring solution because it isn’t a mainstream concept. What do you call it when you want to see your iPhone or Galaxy appear on your Mac or PC? What term do you use when you want your computer screen to appear on your TV or other computers simultaneously?

Mirroring technology is used to accomplish a wide array of tasks across many markets. We develop industry-leading apps for these markets every day. In this blog post, we will define screen mirroring, its primary applications and compatible devices.

What is screen mirroring?
Screen mirroring is the act of wirelessly displaying computer, smart phone and tablet screens on external devices in order to view and share content in real time from one screen to another.

Wirelessly send a computer screen
Users can wirelessly send a computer screen (Mac and PC), specific desktop window or application to one or more Apple TVs, Chromecasts or Reflector 2-enabled computers simultaneously using the industry-leading AirParrot 2 software.

Wirelessly send a mobile device to a Mac or PC
Users may also wirelessly display one or more smart phone/tablet screens onto a Mac or PC using the industry-leading Reflector 2 software. Compatible devices include iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Chromebook, Surface Pro and Android devices.

This mirroring app wirelessly displays mobile device screens by receiving AirPlay and Google Cast connections from iOS and Android devices. It’s the only screen-mirroring technology in the world that’s compatible with Google Cast-enabled Android phones and tablets.

All of that information is great, but seeing is believing. Check out our screen-mirroring tutorial below!

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=blbCwNdBod0[/embed]

Who uses screen-mirroring technology?
Screen mirroring is common in education, gaming, entertainment, business and application-development environments.

Education
Educators use screen mirroring to command the classroom from their iPads and show student Chromebooks, Android devices and iOS devices wirelessly to the entire class. Mirroring enables student device screens to wirelessly display on the teacher’s projector-connected computer, allowing every other student in the classroom to see any individual mobile device from the comfort of their desks. Screen-mirroring apps are a must for any edtech program.

Gaming
Mobile gamers mirror gameplay from their smart phone and tablet screens to a computer. From there, they can record their screen and post the video later or share it to the world immediately with the new Reflector 2 YouTube live stream feature.

App Development
App developers mirror mobile devices to analyze and test application interfaces. This allows them to review apps on the big screen and record the experience.

Business
Business professionals often mirror from tablets to computer screens and computers to Apple TVs or Chromecasts to share presentations, collaborate and brainstorm in the conference room.

Do you have any screen-mirroring experience or unique applications? Leave us your feedback in the comment section below. To learn more, visit http://www.airsquirrels.com.

December 31, 2014

You’ve Got the Gear… Now What?

The holidays are filled with new gear and gadgets with a lot of awesome capabilities. This year we unwrapped Apple TVs, Fire TVs, Chromecasts and iPhones.

AirParrot and Reflector take your new tech to the next level. Our software works with the latest and greatest, so you have many more ways to play with your new toys (don’t worry, we wont make you share!). 

What can you do with your new gear?

Apple TV

In addition to the many of “channels” available for Apple TV, you can also stream media and mirror other Apple device screens.

AirParrot allows you to stream any media files or mirror your Mac or PC screen to an Apple TV. Just fire up the software on your computer and select the device.

AirParrot includes other features like multiple destination support, audio only and specific app mirroring. At $14.99, AirParrot is the best way to experience your movies, music and more.

Chromecast

This tiny, inexpensive TV stick is already powerful, but AirParrot turns your Chromecast into a media powerhouse. Stream music or media to your Chromecast from a Mac or PC, or mirror your screen.

AirParrot works great with Chromecast and enables screen mirroring without a browser extension. Audio is even sent with the screen when mirroring!

 iPhone/iPod/iPad

Check out Reflector! Reflector allows you to mirror an iOS device to a Mac, PC, Android device or Amazon Fire TV. Play games on a big screen, make instructional videos, mirror side-by-side, record and more. Whether it’s work or play, Reflector is a great addition to any environment.Try Reflector free for seven days or purchase for $12.99!

Amazon Fire TV

Mirror and stream content to your Amazon Fire TV or Fire TV Stick. Simply run Reflector on the Fire TV and stream content from your iPhone or computer. Even mirror your screen! If you’ve got an iPhone or iPad, mirror directly from the device and share content on a bigger screen.

Streaming movies and music to Fire TV is easy. Just install AirParrot on your computer, select your Fire TV from the device list and choose your media. 

October 8, 2013

AirParrot for Mac 1.5.1

AirParrot for Mac version 1.5.1 is now available. It adds better support for OS X 10.9 and Apple TV software 6.0. 

In addition, this version also:

  • Fixes crashes on OS X 10.6.8
  • Fixes freezing on OS X 10.9
  • Fixes extension on Apple TV 6.0
  • Adds a registration button
  • Adds the ability to hide Notification Center when mirroring
  • Renames the AirParrot audio track

Release notes for version 1.5.1 can be found here: http://www.airsquirrels.com/airparrot/release-notes/?os=Mac

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

1

About Us

Squirrels is a software development company based in North Canton, Ohio. We create high-quality, budget-friendly screen mirroring and device management software that’s compatible with today’s most popular devices. To date, our software can be found in hundreds of thousands of classrooms, businesses and homes. Follow our blog for all the latest product updates, Squirrels news and technology insight!