Published on 27th July 2015 | by Tim
Reflector 2 For Mac Review
If like me you occasionally need to mirror your smartphone or tablet to your Mac then it can be difficult trying to find an easy way to do it. The built-in QuickTime Player allows for connecting one iOS device via a USB cable, but is limited in functionality.
Reflector 2 from Squirrels is a simple app that allows you to mirror both iOS and Android devices to your Mac or Windows PC. Not only that but it works with phones and tablets and lets you mirror multiple devices at once.
So how does it work? Well you may be familiar with AirPlay, a wireless feature built-in to Apple devices that lets you easily stream to another Apple device without any complicated setup. That’s exactly how Reflector 2 works connecting to your Mac using AirPlay and mirroring the screen of your iPad or iPhone. If you own an Android device then it works the same way using Google Cast.
First and foremost, Reflector 2 lets you connect multiple devices at once, you can even have a mix of iOS and Android devices. Everything is managed through the control centre giving you access to how everything is displayed on screen.
You can choose which device is emphasised, which makes one device larger and therefore stands out amongst the rest. Useful if you want to draw attention to one device and you can switch between devices as and when needed.
As well as being able to emphasise a device you can also show and hide devices, which saves you having to disconnect them and then reconnect later on.
Each device also features a frame, so as an example you might be mirroring your iPhone 6 and Reflector can place an iPhone 6 frame around the mirrored screen. This adds a bit more polish and professionalism to your recording. You can choose from a range of frames to fit various devices so there should be something to suit everyone.
Using Reflector places the mirrored screen on your desktop, so typically it will feature your chosen wallpaper in the background along with the menu bar, dock and anything else that you might have displayed. There is a Fullscreen Mode which takes Reflector full screen, showing your wallpaper and getting rid of anything else on screen. This brings a much cleaner look to your presentation or screen recording.
Everything mirrored from your devices to your Mac is in real-time, plus you can record individual or multiple devices using the record feature. There have been a number of improvements since the first version of Reflector, particularly for games. In certain high end iOS games there was noticeable lag when watching the mirrored footage, but this appears to have been improved with Reflector 2. Displaying real-time footage from World of Tanks Blitz, an online game with high end 3D graphics, resulted in no lag whatsoever in my tests.
When it comes to recording footage you can use your own screen recording software or you can use the built-in record feature. Each device has its own record button, so you can pick and choose what you want to record. There’s also the option to choose a microphone if you want to include a voiceover, useful if you want to select an external microphone connected to your Mac.
Delving into the Preferences gives you a range of options for connecting and recording devices. The main set of options let you choose the resolution and frame rate of your recordings so you can be sure to get the best quality possible. You can set the background colour for Fullscreen Mode if you don’t want to use your desktop wallpaper and there are some security options when connecting your devices.
Reflector 2 is ideal if you plan on recording app previews, tutorials or game walkthroughs. It can also be used for streaming photos and videos to your Mac if you want to view them on the big screen before importing.
There is also a companion app called Reflector Director, available on iOS, that works in much the same way as the control centre. It gives you the option to manage all of your connected devices in one place, show and hide devices, emphasise devices or change the frames as required.
Whilst I don’t have any specific issues with Reflector 2, one thing of note is that having multiple devices connected at the same time can cause your Mac to heat up and kick the fans into overdrive. That may have an affect on your recording, particularly with sound from your microphone. Generally it isn’t an issue if you’re recording one device for a short amount of time doing simple tasks.
All in all Reflector 2 is a versatile app that offers a range of features over the standard QuickTime Player. It brings a touch of professionalism to your recordings and is easily worth the investment if it’s something that you will use on a regular basis.
Reflector 2 is available to purchase for $14.99 from the Squirrels website, there is a free trial available if you want to try before you buy. Discounts are available for higher volume purchases.
by Squirrels | $14.99
Summary: Reflector 2 is ideal for anyone who wants to record app previews, tutorials or walkthroughs. Easily mirrors your smartphone or tablet via AirPlay or Google Cast and works with Mac and PC. Offers a range of features to make your recordings more professional. iOS companion app also available.