Android Users, You Need Vysor

Despite the amount of iOS and Apple Watch chatter here lately, we still have a dedicated Android user base on the team, including me.

If you read here, you’ll know that projecting an Android device screen to an audience has always been important for us, and usually we have more than one screen to project. Over the years, I’ve used several tools for this BBQScreenAndroid Screen Monitor and lately, Chromecast’s screen mirroring feature, which is handy because it cuts out the laptop middleman.

Enter a Chrome app called Vysor, created by Android luminary, Koushik Dutta, better know as koush.

vysor0

You may remember him from such projects as CyanogenMod, AllCast, Helium, ROM Manager, etc. He’s kind of a big deal in the Android modding community because he’s constantly filling Android gaps and improving the Android experience.

And Vysor doesn’t disappoint. Just install the Chrome app from the Chrome Web Store, set the developer options on your Android device and plug it into your machine.

Vysor opens your device’s screen, and sit down for this one, allows you to control it via mouse and keyboard.vysor1You read that right. This is a huge feature that none of the other options I’ve tried offer.

For a full how-to, read Lifehacker’s post.

As an aside, Chrome apps are the bee’s knees. They are truly cross-platform, can run in their own windows outside Chrome and can run when Chrome itself is closed. Seriously, I can quit Chrome and launch the Vysor app on its own. I just did this on OS X and again on Ubuntu.

Did you know that? Although I did, and I shared the enthusiasm of the tech press back in late 2013, I had forgotten. Google hasn’t done a very good job promoting this awesome capability of the Chrome ecosystem.

Not to wander too far off topic, but it is a shame to see Chrome take a back seat to Android when the two are equally useful.

Moving on, Vysor is in beta. It works really well with one device from what I’ve seen. However, once you get two devices connected, it gets confused.

vysor3

I might have something set wrong, or maybe it’s that annoying Android File Transfer app that’s required (is it still?) for OS X.

Might be user error.

Anyway, if you’re an Android user, check out Vysor. It’s awesome.

Find the comments.

AboutJake

a.k.a.:jkuramot

7 comments

  1. Neat most give it a shot. Have been using the Android Screen Monitor and I like that too. This looks handier. Still, we need to figure out a way to project Android Wear watches like the Moto 360 that cunningly don’t come with USB ports etc.

    Onwards and upwards.

  2. @Ultan: Yes, a very odd gap, but I guess the designers didn’t think it was a common use case and not worth adding. It’s not really that common I wouldn’t think, just a pain point for us.

  3. @Ultan: Glad you got it working. I haven’t tried Glass or a Wear watch yet, but if the device can be plugged in and seen by adb, it should project.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *