I get the chance to do a lot of iPad training around the country and one of the problems I always have to deal with is being tied to a projector cable. I want to move around the room. I want to switch back and forth between iPad and laptop. Can’t it just be easy?
And I’ve messed with Apple TV and it works but you end up hauling around all sorts of extra cables, boxes, and . . . well, it’s just a pain.
But there’s a new sheriff in town. A piece of $15 software called Reflection has solved a lot of my problems. It’s not for everyone – Reflection works only on Apple Macs running OS 10.6 or higher. Basically Reflection will mirror, via the iPad’s Airplay feature, your iPad’s screen, video, and audio onto your Mac.
So you can wander the room – demonstrating apps, modeling primary source analysis, presenting a Keynote lecture, highlighting text in an iBooks text – just about anything but without the restriction of a six foot projector cable.
The process couldn’t be simpler. Go to the Reflection website, purchase the software, install, and open. Make sure that your Mac and iPad are on the same wireless network. Slide your iPad’s multi-task bar all the way to the left and tap the Airplay button. Select your computer from the list and turn on the Mirroring button.
You can password protect access in the software’s preferences to keep the kid in the back of the class from hijacking your presentation.
There is a “full screen” option that will simply put the frame on a grey background instead of your desktop. This allows Reflection to function as a full-screen app in OS X rather than having the iPad’s screen fill the Mac’s entire display. You can also select different resolutions and frames.
Reflection did crash once while running a graphically intense game on my relatively slow home wireless network. But had no trouble on office wireless or even my Verizon modem.
9to5mac posted a handy video that gives a pretty good demo of the software in action:
The extra bonus? Reflection also works on your iPhone 4S.