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Mirror, Mirror

Cross device access has its own benefits but what if you can replicate a device’s screen on your desktop. You can access all your device’s functions on a larger screen and interact with it like you do with your other desktop applications. Apple launched its Airplay service to enable users to easily access device’s from systems but was mainly targeted towards using additional cable’s or projectors achieve the intended effects.

Unfortunately, users don’t always have an access to a project or required cables to replicate their iOS screen. The rise of apps has allowed users to search for easier alternatives for the same problems by just using the right app. Recognizing the demand, third-party developers have already built some awesome apps that mirror any device on a PC or Mac.

SEE ALSO: Get More Out of Your iDevice with These Handy iOS 8 Shortcuts

Advantages Of Cross Device Access

Gaining access to your iOS handheld without actually interacting with them seems fascinating. With device mirroring, users can easily receive all necessary notifications and gain access to files and apps on the iOS device without actually having to pull out their iPhone or iPad every time someone likes their photo on Facebook, for example.

People who like to remain cemented to a system and want a unified access to all their devices find these apps extremely beneficial for their purposes.

Moreover, the level of control provided by the apps on your iOS device lets to lock or unlock it, receive or reject calls, reply to texts and messages and even run major apps on your iOS device from your Mac or Windows.

These applications also help in providing easy connectivity and access to files and apps stores on your mobile devices that could be beneficial during presentations and showcasing device specific features.

Applications to Mirror your iPhone or iPad Screen on Mac

Applications like Airserver, Reflector and Airdroid are among the top device mirroring applications for Mac. They do not require an Apple TV or Airport express to mirror the device screen as they directly use the Airplay receiver, Bluetooth or WiFi connections to receive device information on your Mac.

Airserver only helps you control the device from your Mac but doesn’t allow you to mirror it, its future updates would intend to build the functionality in it. Reflector, on the other hand is widely used for wireless mirroring. It acts as an Airplay receiver to display your device screen on your Mac through Airplay server.

Reflector

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Reflector is available for Mac, PC and select Android devices. Its application structure allows you to play music, video and games on your iPhone through your Mac. The Airplay receiver is inbuilt in to the application allowing you to stream the highest amount of information as compared to other applications.

It also comes with additional functionality that help you record your device even when it away from you. You can record calls, screen and other audio visuals and access the on your Mac without any effort.

It syncs information through wireless or Ethernet cables allowing fast access to changing device states. Applications like Mirroring360 and X-Mirage work in a similar fashion but contain lesser features as compared to Reflector.

iTools

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iTools is another device mirroring software that can be downloaded free of charge and mirrors your device through the USB cable provided with your mobile device. If your computer is connected to your projector, the application can directly project the device screen. As it is still under development and consumers use only its beta version. Some features may still be a bit buggy but the developers have assured its early release. It is ideal for people who don’t want to pay for a device mirroring application.

The program not only lets you manage your device and data, it also has some nifty added features that the other applications do not offer. You can use iTools to create ringtones from your favorite songs and load them on your phone.

It also lets you access all your iTunes data backups and App store making it convenient to access all your old and new media from a single location. Having access to App store also means that you can manage, install and uninstall your apps from iTools.

It’s an intuitive program with some useful features and considering it’s free to use, it’s worth checking out.

Airdroid

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Airdroid is another awesome application is often considered the best mirroring application on the app store. Its 3rd upgrade has introduced a highly stable and optimized mirroring application called AirMirror. It aims to decrease connectivity and usage patterns between devices by allowing minimal data transfer and effective device mirroring through its inbuilt API.

It is available for both Mac and Windows OS and future releases target other operating systems. The user has to download a desktop client and a mobile application to control the mobile device from the desktop. It was primarily used for getting device notification on the user’s desktop. Later on the company added additional functionalities that allow it to mirror the complete device instead of just gaining access to limited information.

As it is still in its beta release, some features may hang up or stop working after some time due to memory allocation problems but constant upgrades to the app keeps on improving its functionality.

You can also control your Android device with Airdroid. We covered it recently in this post, check it out.

Conclusion

Cross device access and control is important to support seamless connectivity among your devices. Apple’s HandOff may be a step towards the rise of this functionality but there is still a lot to be done to maintain usability among devices. Applications like the above may pave the way for necessary functionalities that can be inbuilt into OS by the manufacturer themselves.

But enabling cross-device application usage is not as easy as it may seem. Varied device architectures and platforms need varied application designs. An application designed for one OS can hardly be run in another. Therefore, only higher level applications that run on runtime environments can maintain necessary cross-device functionality.

Further Reading: The Best Hidden Features for Safari on iOS 8 You Absolutely Must Know