Several months back I wrote about a sweet little piece of software that let you mirror / airplay your iPad (or iPhone) to your computer. Called Reflection, the software let you mirror your iPad screen via an HDMI or VGA projector.
Rather than spending $100 on an Apple TV that many district tech admins hate because it doesn’t play nice with their servers, you could spend $20 and get basically the same mirroring effect.
Well, it just got sweeter.
One of the problems with earlier versions of Reflection was that it was Mac friendly only. In fact, it only worked on Lion. But . . . wait for it.
It now also works on Windows XP or better and any Apple system 10.6.8 or better.
You can download a free trial and check it out. But I’m pretty sure you’ll like it. It’s drop dead simple to use. Make sure that your computer 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.
But wait! There’s more.
There is another option. AirServer, a very similar type of software, recently came out and offers exactly the same sort of service. Airplay via a wireless network directly to your computer, allowing you to mirror your mobile device over a projector.
AirServer is cheaper by a dollar – 14.99 to 15.99. But if you’re downloading to a PC, AirServer drops to $7.99. Plus AirServer offers a better selection of educational prices. AirServer seems a bit more stable and seems to play nicer with a wider range of apps. But Reflection seems to do better at not falling behind when trying to mirror graphic intense apps. Both tools give you the freedom to roam around the classroom untethered and to let your kids connect to the projector quickly and easily. (I especially like how you can now use your iPad or iPhone as a very powerful document camera!)
But I’m going with AirServer because it fills my screen completely. It just looks better. But you’ll want to test drive each of them yourself. At $15 bucks, you really can’t go wrong either way.