[ Read my product review disclosure statement here. ]
As I was researching my upcoming webinar on VR, I needed to find a way to stream my iPhone screen, because there’s an application that controls the VR camera that only runs on iOS.
Creating a still image of the iPhone screen is easy: press two of the side buttons; which two depends upon which version of iPhone you have. But showing an iOS screen live? Hmmm… that requires different software.
After some research, I discovered Reflector 3, by Squirrels.
NOTE: I first wrote this review using the trial version. Then, when I realized that I really needed this software for my upcoming webinar, I bought it and replaced all my screen shots.
“Reflector 3 is a wireless mirroring and streaming receiver that works with Google Cast and Airplay-enabled devices. Everything you do on your phone, tablet or computer can be wirelessly sent to Reflector.” (Reflector website)
While this software works great for streaming, it is actually part of a much larger set of software specifically designed for education, where a teacher can monitor what students are doing on their mobile devices, including: accessing and managing preferences, customizing student devices, recording device screens, connecting Chromebooks, Android devices, iPads and iPhones and checking on student work.
Price: $14.99 (US)
Squirrels provides a full-function 15-day free trial, which watermarks the image.
Both the iPhone and the computer need to be on the same network. Once they are, start Reflector 3 on your computer.
(This screen only appears when you are running the trial version of Reflector 3.)
On the iPhone or iPad, swipe to reveal the Control Center.
Tap Screen Mirroring
Tap the name of your computer. The software displays a code on your computer which you enter into your iOS device.
Once the code is accepted, your iOS device is mirrored on your computer desktop. This is perfect for live streaming from a phone. The actual image is quite large, filling most of the vertical space on the screen.
RECORDING THE SCREEN
While I record my webinars using ScreenFlow, from Telestream, sometimes you may need to record just the iPhone screen by itself. By clicking the red record button in the top right corner of the iPhone image on your computer, you can record the iPhone on your computer. This generates an MP4 video file which can be stored on your desktop. This is an ideal screen-capture utility because it uses the storage capacity of your computer, rather than your phone.
NOTE: Once you end recording, Reflection 3 requires time to convert the file and save it. I found that, on my system, this takes about real time to export.
Also, the camera icon, just to the left of the red record button, allows you to capture a screen shot directly to your computer, which greatly simplifies moving screen shots from an iPhone to a computer for articles such as this.
Here’s the iPhone movie on the left, with the live stream overlaid on the right. (The trial version is watermarked.) The MP4 file can be edited in the NLE of your choice. The image size is big – 1792 x 1792 pixels – so you have plenty of resolution to work with.
There’s also a menu bar utility that displays all the devices connected to your computer via Reflection 3, while the gear menu allows access to preferences, software updates, and other options.
Squirrels has a variety of software tools that allow different devices to connect and stream wirelessly. While I haven’t used Reflection 3 in one of my weekly webinars, that will change starting with this Thursday’s presentation.
So far, I’m very impressed with how easy Reflector 3 is to use and how well it works. The actual screen quality is excellent. I’m looking forward to using it in the future.
Here’s a link to learn more about their educational versions: Reflector Teacher.
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