Ever want to show a friend a video you have on your phone, but on a big screen? Or showcase some vacation photos to a group of people, or share a mobile game with a loved one without having to crowd around something small?
You can project the media on your smartphone or tablet to your TV screen with something called screen mirroring. It isn’t magic, nor is it difficult to utilize.
You just need to learn what it is, and when you can use it in order to activate it on your phone or tablet, and you’ll be able to take media from that device and show it on a bigger screen.
Want to understand screen mirroring, why it’s handy, and start using it yourself? Read on and start using the function today to play content from one of your smaller devices on a bigger one.
(Psst! Want the Android version of this tip? Tap or click here to read it and share it with the Android users in your life.)
What is screen mirroring?
Screen mirroring is a function available in smartphones, tablets, and computers that allows whatever is on display on that device to be projected onto another. You can show your phone’s photos, videos and other content on your television or another bigger screen. You can also go the other way and show your computer desktop on your iPad.
Screen mirroring can be done through wired connections, or wirelessly, allowing you to do things like use a projector to show a PowerPoint presentation or play a video you made with ease. Most screened devices support some form of screen mirroring these days, you just need to double-check that it’s possible and that the devices are compatible.
If screen mirroring can happen, and devices are compatible, you can play app games on your big screen TV in minutes. But before we get into how we do that, maybe we should explain why you’d want to use screen mirroring, and the advantages it can offer.
Why screen mirroring is helpful
Screen mirroring is great in times when you need to present something to a group, whether that be in a work setting, or in your personal life. It’s perfect for showcasing the photos you took on a recent trip, watching home movies (or blockbusters) on your phone with your family, and showing the latest projections at a business meeting.
If you have content that would be better seen on a big screen, that’s the time to use screen mirroring.
Use it at parties to play YouTube or Spotify playlists through your TV’s bigger and louder speakers, adding a nice visual element through the YouTube video, or the Spotify Genius facts. It can let you watch a movie from Netflix, or just see a Word document bigger when editing it with classmates.
Basically, group settings are perfect for screen mirroring, as are times when you just need to see things on a larger scale. Now that you know what screen mirroring is, and why (and when) you should utilize it, let’s get into how you can start using it.
How to use screen mirroring
As a general rule, Apple devices are good at screen mirroring with other Apple devices.
There can be some crossover between devices, of course, but you’ll need to look up compatibility, as it sadly can’t be assumed. A quick Google search of “device 1 screen mirror device 2” should lead you to apps or cords you might need to make use of the function.
To take advantage of the screen mirroring function, you’ll need an AirPlay 2-compatible smart TV, or a streaming device like Apple TV to make things happen. Make sure both devices are on the same Wi-Fi network.
From there, you just need to access your iPhone, iPad, or computer settings. Apple put screen mirroring in the menu you can access by pulling up from the bottom of your screen (or pulling down from the top on newer models.)
When you have screen mirroring activated on your phone or tablet, you will see a list of devices you can connect to, which you simply have to tap. If an AirPlay passcode appears on your TV screen, enter the passcode on your iOS device.
Once the devices have synced, whatever you’re looking at on your smaller device you’ll see on your big screen, and screen mirroring will be happening!
(Note: Your TV uses your iOS gadget’s screen orientation and aspect ratio. To fill your TV screen with the mirrored iOS device screen, you can change your TV’s aspect ratio or zoom settings.)
Screen mirroring is a great function for all your sharing and project needs. Check it out on your own devices now for your next big gathering, or just for a bit of fun next time you want to watch a YouTube video! Screen mirroring is handy and easy to use, and we’re sure you’ll find great uses for it.