Getting your android screen on your pc for free (Directing your classes part 5)

Part of my ongoing ‘Directing your own online classes’ series. All articles can be found on this page.

Introduction

There’s several ways to get the screen of your android smartphone on your pc-screen. Most of which require a bit of fiddling or aren’t very cheap.

I’d like to introduce two of my preferred methods: both are free, one is very easy to use using the wifi network, one is opensource using an usb cable:

Method 1: http streaming, using the network

This app (Screen stream over HTTP) is awesome. It’s free and it doesn’t require anything but a browser on your pc. Use this tool if you aren’t allowed to install software on your (work) computer. Simply install the app on your smartphone.

Once you open the app, it will give you a local address (just make sure your smartphone is connected to the same network as your computer). Write down the address and then press the shiny play button in the button. Now your phone starts streaming (remember to turn it of afterwards). You can do anything you’d like on the phone.

Next, open your browser on your pc and surf to the address you were given in the app. There you go, you now have your phone screen!

Method 2: srcopy, using a usb-cable

Vysor is an interesting method using an usb-connection between your phone and pc. The drawback however is that the free plan has a pretty low quality.

I found the following free, open-source alternative that worked flawlessly from the start: https://github.com/Genymobile/scrcpy

  • It requires that you enable the “developer/debug” mode of your phone which can be done as follows: “To enable Developer Options, open the Settings screen, scroll down to the bottom, and tap About phone or About tablet. Scroll down to the bottom of the About screen and find the Build number. Tap the Build number field seven times to enable Developer Options.” [source]
  • Once you do this, you can plug can connect your phone to your pc. If all goes well, your phone should ask you if you want te enable debug/developer mode access for this pc. Of course you want that, otherwise the next step won’t work.
  • Now unzip the latest scrcpy from this page and run scrcpy.exe (use the noconsole version once you are certain it all works).
  • Profit! You should now see your phone on your pc. It’s magic!

Thanks to Katrien for contacting me with her ‘challenge’ (I.e. solve this problem having laptop with severe restrictions)

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