Mobile Remote Screen-Sharing with Reflector

by Nate Bolt. Average Reading Time: less than a minute.

There is a new app called Reflector that lets you easily mirror from an iPhone or iPad to a Mac desktop, which you can then share remotely in real-time. That’s a big deal because 1) it’s fast and reliable 2) it’s wireless, and 3) you can screen share a mobile device remotely. Using this in conjunction with GoToMeeting or Skype, as long as you have a participant with a Mac nearby on the same wifi network as their iPhone or iPad, you’re good to go. You could also turn on the webcam sharing in GoToMeeting with an external USB webcam for extra awesome face + mobile device. This would just be a cleaner, more high fidelity version of what’s possible with the MailChimp Webcam Hugging Technique. You can see our quick test with it below, and just imagine a screen recorder running and a webcam at the same time, which would be no problemo.


Screen Shot 2015-02-16 at 11.28.17 AM

  • boltronic

    Testing the ol’ comment system.

  • Mr. Tappy

    Hi Nate. Wow, this looks promising. If you were to send out a Mr.Tappy kit with webcam to participants, you’d solve a couple of compromises here – the ability to see the user’s taps and gestures (their actual hand movements), and the ability to work with every other mobile device. Participants can simply select the webcam on Mr. Tappy as their camera and you’ll be riding shotgun with their every tap and swipe.

  • Oli4k

    I’ve just tried it and it’s still quite buggy and feels like a beta that’s not suitable for professional applications. Not worth the money at this point unless there’s an update soon.

  • boltronic

    Great to know  – we used the trial and didn’t have any problems. Can you share what exactly went wrong? I’d be very curious to know. OS & iOS version too, etc…

  • I’ve been thinking about using this for an upcoming test – it’s great software; a few points: 

    1) I miss seeing fingers – it’s a bit hard to infer what the user did only from how the phone reacts 
    2) You have to have a predictable wifi environment – I was at a college campus for testing and we could not get the app working – it might use a port that was blocked. If you are “in the field” you might want to bring an Airport Express. 

  • Has worked great for me. iPhone 4S iOS 5 and MacBook Pro 10.7.3

  • Great points, Rob. Probably the best way to view phone interaction remotely right now is the hugging technique Mozilla talks about http://remoteresear.ch/tabletzilla and GoToMeeting. It’s true you have to find people with webams but that’s not impossible, and the whole hugging thing gives you fingers. Just remember to have them turn the brightness down a bit so the webcam doesn’t freak out with exposure.