Using Airplay Mirroring with your computer for free

What is Airplay Mirroring?

Airplay mirroring is a feature released with iOS 5 that allows the user to wirelessly transmit their screen live to an Apple TV Generation 2 and above. This feature was originally not designed for computers, but it was reverse engineered by talented individuals. Until recently, the only way to get this feature was to pay a hefty price for a license through softwares like Reflector or Airserver. Now, a free version with all of the bells and whistles exists. Depending on the required usage, you might want to go either wired or wireless.

YouTube video tutorial in progress!

Wireless Airplay Mirroring via LonelyScreen

For wireless Airplay Mirroring, download a free software called LonelyScreen. This software is available for both Windows and MacOS/OS X (sorry Linux users!) and can wirelessly accept a connection from a device from above iOS 9 and above. No jailbreak is required.

Text based instructions
  1. Download LonelyScreen
  2. Install the program using the installer
  3. Run the program
  4. You should see a window popup. Now, go to your iOS device running iOS 9 or above
  5. Go to Control Center by sliding up from the bottom of the screen (make sure you turn on WiFi)
  6. Select Airplay and select the device that shows up.
  7. If all went well, your screen should pop up on the screen

If you used LonelyScreen, you may be experiencing a little input lag like I did. The amount of lag is determined by the strength of your network. Are you trying to record a game? Use the next option for an almost non-existent input lag.

Wired Airplay Mirroring via Quicktime Player

Using this method, you can ensure that there will be an almost undetectable input lag. There will also be options for high quality recordings, unlike the mediocre quality given by LonelyScreen due to network limitations. This may seem like a viable option to do, but this is for MacOS and Mac OS X only. This also does not require you to be jailbroken as it is a tool provided directly provided by Apple.

Text based instructions

  1. Connect your iOS 9 or later device to the MacOS/Mac OS X device with the charging/data cable.
  2. Make sure the iOS device is unlocked if it has a passcode.
  3. Open Quicktime Player by searching for it in Launchpad
  4. Click ‘New Video Recording’ in the ‘File’ menu at the top.
  5. You should see your FaceTime camera activated. Click the arrow next to the record button.
  6. Select the option that says the name of your device.
  7. Click record.
  8. You should be all set. Sometimes audio will not be automatically set, in which you will have to set it manually.

TL;DR

There is are now free options to use Airplay Mirroring with a computer, without having to shell out big bucks to a software like Reflector or Airserver. LonelyScreen, available for both Windows and Mac, can accept wireless connections of your screen and can record it without you having to jailbreak your phone. LonelyScreen suffers from minor quality problems and some input lag, like all other network based applications, depending on your network speed. If you want the best quality with minimal lag, use Quicktime Player to record/view your screen using a data cable. This method is only available on Mac.

16 thoughts on “Using Airplay Mirroring with your computer for free

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