Screen mirroring isn’t the most popular thing people do with their devices. However, there are plenty of niche use cases for such a technology. Some people like it for streaming. Others use it for technical support. Whatever the reason, we hope we can help you achieve it. Here are the best screen mirroring apps for Android and other ways too!
Hardware devices like Chromecast or Kindle Fire Sticks
Many of today’s TV streaming dongles have native screen mirroring support. A couple of the options include Amazon’s Fire TV and Google’s Chromecast. There are some limitations to each platform. However, they do tend to work rather well. Those who own a Chromecast can just pop open the app, open the menu, and the cast screen option should be there. This is especially nice for playing mobile games with a controller. The latency is low enough to where it shouldn’t affect the experience in most games. For movies and TV, we recommend just the stock Chromecast or Fire Stick functionality without mirroring.
Fire TV is a little more complicated. You use your device’s native screen mirroring feature (on Android 4.2 or higher) to connect to Fire TV. This is similar to how it works on compatible smart TVs. Kindle Fire devices can mirror to Fire TV much more easily.
It takes a little bit of searching around because the options are very numerous. Some TVs can do it and some TVs cannot. Any Android device over Android 4.2 can initiate screen mirroring with a supported TV or streaming stick. Most smart TVs and streaming sticks will work for this. It takes a little tinkering in your menu system, but it does work pretty well once you get it going.
The best and easiest way to screen mirror is to use a cable. Unfortunately, this tech is getting harder and harder to find. Most Samsung and LG device still have it. Outside of those companies, it gets a little hit or miss. Despite being a pioneer for USB Type-C and its native HDMI capabilities, Google Nexus and Pixel devices don’t have HDMI-out. It’s annoying. However, it’s usually pretty easy to figure out if devices have HDMI-out support via a quick Google Search.
After that, you just have to get the right cable. Samsung devices usually use MHL while LG usually uses Slimport. Most other devices that support HDMI-out use one of the two of those protocols. HDMI-out has the advantage of being rock solid. You can use it offline, there is no worry about weird connection problems unless the cable breaks, and the prices for such cables are usually fairly reasonable. You can even use this method to connect to computer monitors with the right additional hardware like an HDMI capture card. This option definitely costs the most money, but it works really well.
Vysor and other Chrome extensions
Koush’s Vysor and similar Chrome extensions work pretty well. They allow you to mirror your device screen to your computer using Google Chrome. These methods generally work good enough for most use cases. Most of the extensions have instructions for use. Usually it doesn’t require a cable. At worst, it requires your usual charging cable. Thus, you usually don’t have to make any additional purchases.
You can download Vysor by clicking here (on your computer). The app is available in Google Play. We would’ve included this one in the list above, but the main part of the process is on your PC as opposed to your device. There are other extension options as well. Play with a few and find the one that works with you.
Capture cards are kind of a last resort. Your device needs HDMI-out capabilities as explained above or it won’t work. From there, you need to buy a capture card. The current best option for smartphones is the Elgato HD60S. You plug this into your computer and then your phone into the capture card. From there, you use the capture card’s software to view your screen on your computer or laptop.
The big disadvantage for this is that it’s really expensive. The capture card alone can go for around $200 (usually a little less) and then you have to buy the HDMI cable for your phone as well. However, this is a rock solid solution. We’ve used it for years. You get fewer frame drops, more stable connections, higher bitrates, and you can also record the screen if you need to.
If you need it for anything simple like showing off some photos on a TV, this is not what we would recommend. This is only recommended for the most hardcore of screen mirroring applications and especially for screen recording or game streaming.
If we missed any screen mirroring apps and other methods, tell us about it in the comments! You can also click here to check out our latest Android app and game lists!