You can use Google’s $35 Chromecast device to stream internet video to your TV from sites including YouTube and Netflix. There are also apps that let you stream local content from your phone, tablet or PC over a WiFi network. Soon you may be able to go a step further and use a Chromecast to mirror your phone’s display on a TV.
Android developer Koushik Dutta is showing off a demo of screen mirroring that lets you play a game, check for social network updates, or do just about anything else on you mobile device while the same action shows up on your big screen TV or monitor.
Koush has been working on tools to make the Chromecast more useful for about as long as the Chromecast has been available.
When Google launched the little device in the summer of 2013, it only worked with a handful of online video and music sites and was designed to stream content from the internet while only using your phone or tablet as a remote control. Browse Netflix or Hulu Plus on your phone, tap a few buttons and a video would start playing on the Chromecast — but that video would stream from the internet to your TV not from your phone to your TV.
Koush already offers a tool called AllCast that lets you stream content from an Android phone to a TV, making it possible to send home videos, downloaded videos, DVD rips, or just about anything else to your TV without first uploading it to the internet.
A screen mirroring app takes things to another level by letting you stream everything on your phone to your TV.
Unfortunately there’s a bit of lag. That means that while you can play a game on your phone and see the results on your TV, you’ll probably want to keep your eyes on the phone unless you want to run off the racetrack, get eaten by zombies, or crash your Flappy Bird into a pipe. At least your friends can watch you play without crowding around your phone.
There are other ways to mirror your Android screen on a TV. If you have a phone or tablet that supports Miracast, you can use a dongle like the Tronsmart T1000. But it’s nice to see developers stretching the limits of Google’s little media streamer.
Meanwhile, if you just want to stream local videos from your Android phone or tablet to a TV, there are at least half a dozen apps for that.