Screenshots are great for sharing a quick snapshot of what’s on your phone screen. But screenshots fall short in more demanding scenarios such as troubleshooting, creating instructional guides, or collaborating with far-away friends.
Luckily, live screen sharing tools are not restricted to just desktop computers. You can easily broadcast your phone’s screen to someone else. Here’s how to share your phone screen and the best screen sharing apps for Android and iOS.
The Easiest Screen Sharing Method: Skype
Microsoft’s video calling platform Skype lets you share your computer or phone’s screen in a video call. The feature is accessible on all platforms, including the Android and iOS apps.
Since it’s OS-agnostic, it doesn’t matter whether the person on the receiving end is using a phone or a desktop. You can use it to stream your phone’s content to a desktop or the other way around. In addition to one-on-one sessions, you can show your screen’s content in a group video call at no cost.
1. How to Share Your Android or iPhone Screen Using Skype
Skype’s screen sharing tool doesn’t require any setup from you; all you need is a Microsoft account. First, download Skype on your phone, then launch the app and sign in.
If you haven’t already, add your friend to your contacts list by searching for their Skype ID from the search bar at the top.
Now, fire up a video call with them by tapping the camcorder icon at the chat’s top-right corner. When your friend picks it up, touch the three-dot button at the bottom-right of the call interface and select Share Screen. Your screen and whatever you do on it will be visible to your friend.
To end screen sharing and return to the camera’s stream, tap the blue Stop Sharing button.
Skype has a bundle of other communication tools you’ll find handy. There’s a built-in translator which can transcribe a call’s audio in real-time and display subtitles in a range of different languages. Plus, you have the option to record calls, smart suggestions for text messages, and more great Skype features.
Alternative Screen Sharing Apps for Android and iOS
Skype isn’t perfect; the Microsoft account requirement may put you off. Therefore, if you find Skype a bit lacking or want to remotely control other devices, here are a few alternatives.
TeamViewer is a more advanced solution for sharing your mobile screen. It’s primarily used for troubleshooting purposes. On Android, apart from broadcasting your screen, it even lets you enable the other person to remotely control it.
However, unlike Skype, TeamViewer isn’t a traditional video-calling app. This means you can’t directly video chat with the recipient. Plus, its configuration is a lot more complicated than Skype and you’re required to download multiple add-on apps.
The most straightforward way to share an Android or iOS screen through TeamViewer is with the TeamViewer QuickSupport app. This app allows you to instantly generate a unique ID for your device and share your screen without creating a TeamViewer account.
Open the app when it’s installed. Tap the Send Your ID button to forward a connection link through any messaging or email app. On the second phone, install the main TeamViewer client and open the link you sent. Once the sender confirms the connection, you will be able to view the shared screen.
Squad is a social screen sharing app that aims to make virtual hangouts easy. You can video call up to nine people and share your iOS or Android screen in real-time to, for instance, shop online together or get dating advice.
Instead of broadcasting your entire screen, Squad allows you to focus on a single app. This consumes less bandwidth and is useful when you’re talking to more than one friend in the same call. However, the feature is only available for Android users.
In addition, there’s an option that allows you to create groups and quickly launch a video chat with all the members. On top of that, Squad functions as a regular IM service and offers the ability to send regular texts and pictures.
Squad is free to download, but it does ask for your phone number to create a new account. At the time of writing, Squad for Android is in early access.
Lightbeam has a feature set that’s largely identical to Squad. But it stands out with its unique screen sharing abilities.
Like Squad, you can video chat and broadcast your screen at the same time. But Lightbeam has also integrated live comments inside the screen sharing window.
Thus, instead of a bunch of your friends talking about your screen’s content, they can leave a text comment that will appear on top of the chat grid. This is ideal when you are, say, planning a trip’s itinerary and want to keep tabs on what everyone thinks. However, Lightbeam only supports a maximum of four participants on a single call.
As of this writing, Lightbeam’s iOS client is in its early stages and not available publicly.
Download: Lightbeam for Android (Free)
5. Mimicr (Android)
Mimicr is another screen sharing service Android users can try. The app can stream your phone’s screen with minimal latency.
Mimicr can beam your display’s content onto a second phone either by running the same app, or through a web link. The latter method allows you to mirror the screen to any phone (or even a computer) just by opening the link in a browser.
What’s more, Mimicr has a voice chat option so that you can talk to the recipient while sharing your screen. Alternatively, the receiver can express themselves using reactions and emojis.
Mimicr is available at no charge, but it’s exclusive to Android for now.
Download: Mimicr for Android (Free)
Share Your Computer’s Screen Too
You no longer have to depend on static screenshots for planning a trip with your remote friends or getting help from a service center rep. These apps will allow you to easily share your phone’s screen at no cost.
If you find yourself wishing for similar tools on bigger screens, check out the best screen sharing and remote access software for PCs. Android users may also appreciate knowing how to mirror your device’s screen to a PC.