Using droid-at-screen to see your phone’s display on your computer

droid-at-screen is a free Java-based app that displays the content of your phone’s display to your computer’s display, when the phone is connected via a USB cable.

Below is a screen snap shot taken from my computer display. At the upper left is the Droid@Screen application running.  Droid@Screen is connected to my Nexus 5 phone.

At right is the display showing on my phone, which has been transferred from the phone to my computer over a USB connection. I’ve circled two user interface items – the magnifying glass icon is used to adjust the display size of the phone’s screen. Since the phone has a 1920×1080 display, the initial image is quite large!

Below that is a camera icon. Click on that to take a snapshot of what is on the screen, and then save the screen image to a local file.

Capture

At the lower left is the DroidAtScreen .jar file. This is the Java executable program file. Assuming Java is installed on your system, double click the .jar file to begin running Droid@Screen.

Items Needed to Use DroidAtScreen

You will need to install and configure several software items in order to get this up and running.

Setting up your system and phone to connect over a USB connection may be complex. Please refer to App Inventor’s instructions for setting up support for a USB connection. This will help to verify that your computer and phone can talk to one another over USB, although you will not be using the USB connection to install software when using Droid@Screen (at least I could not get both to work at the same time!)

Next, you need to install the Java JRE and the Android SDK from Google. This can take quite some time to install and configure, including downloading all the required components and latest updates. Instructions for installing these items are located at Droid @ Screen.

Note – if you do not set the ANDROID_HOME environment variable, the Droid@Screen application will prompt you for the location of the “ADB” executable file.  The ADB is a special software tool whose full name is “Android Debug Bridge” and is the key to connecting the phone to the Droid@Screen software.

The purpose of this post is to let you know about Droid@Screen. You might use this application to quickly capture screen images directly to your PC, or you could this to display App Inventor blocks code in a browser window while showing the app running on the phone, all on the same computer display. This would be helpful for use while giving presentations since you can connect your computer to a video projector and have it show everything, including the phone, at the same time.

I caution that you may find setting up the Android SDK to be quite complex and intended for more advanced techies. I am presenting this “for your information only”. I cannot offer any support for this – this is not my application!

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