There are plenty of apps that let you use a Chromecast to stream video from internet sites like Netflix and YouTube. There are a growing number that let you stream videos directly from your Android phone or tablet to a TV with a Chromecast too.
Now there’s an app that lets you use a Chromecast to mirror your Android screen. That means anything you do on your phone or tablet shows up on your TV.
There are a few catches though.
Developer Koushik Dutta is working on the Mirror app, and as of March 6th, 2014 it’s only available as a beta release. That means you need to follow Koush’s instructions for joining the beta community to try out the app.
At this point you also need a rooted Google Nexus 5 running Android 4.4.2 to use the Mirror app.
Eventually Koush plans to remove the need for root access. It’s not clear that it’ll ever work on a phone other than the Nexus 5, because it’s the only phone available with a hardware VP8 video encoder at the moment.
And if you’re expecting stellar video quality… don’t. Mirror will let you display content from your phone on your big screen TV. But there’s a bit of lag and pixelation. Games are unplayable if you try looking at the TV instead of the phone in your hand.
On the other hand, the app could come in handy if you want to show a presentation, display a website, or put other content that normally doesn’t work with a Chromecast on your TV.
The Mirror app also supports screencast recording, allowing you to save a video of whatever you’re doing on your device. This could come in handy for developers that want to show off features of their Android apps or anyone who wants to create a tutorial video.