Monday, January 20, 2014

Software Review: Reflector

Ever wanted to share your iPhone or iPad screen with someone else on a desktop or laptop instead of an AppleTV--as they say, there is an app for that.  Actually that capability is already built into iOS via AIrplay.  Reflector is a program you run on either your Mac or a PC that turns the computer into an Airplay device.  This allows you to mirror your iPhone or iPad display onto a computer running Mac OS X or Windows.  Moreover, multiple people can present at the same time.

This allows you to mirror what’s showing on your iPhone without having to use an AppleTV making it ideal for presentations.  We’ve used in our user group numerous times to allow participants to explain a problem they are having or to be shown how to do something -- and in particular the program has profound educational opportunities. 

The Mac version is extremely easy:  start it up and it shows up as a AirPlay device on any iOS device.  You can choose the background colors, screen size and, if you wish, password protect connections.  The Windows version is a bit trickier due to firewall issues, but that’s true of many Windows programs. On either platform, once you connect your iOS device your screen magically appears on your computer.  Just an FYI, you’ll be very tempted to try to control your iOS device from your computer until you remember only the screen is mirrored, you will still have to touch the iOS device to control.

One more thing, it also allows you to record these AirPlay sessions making it great for tutorials!  Whether you are demoing for sales or doing a tutorial walk through, Reflector makes it super easy.

The best feature though is the price:  $12.99.  This is really a bargain for an application that does so much.  They offer multipacks of the programs so it can be used by multiple users.  

If you’ve ever presented from an iPhone or iPad this is the app for you.  Easy to use, reliable and best of all you can record the sessions.

Pros:  AirPlay universality, screen recording price

Cons: You’ll be tempted to touch your Mac screen to control your Phone.

Five out of Five