Reflector 2 Reaches a New Set of Users

reflector 2

Nearly three years ago I started iOS etc with the dream of sharing amazing applications with the world. It wasn’t long after we came online we discovered Reflector by Squirrels. The first version of Reflector was fantastic and it helped us record and share information with developers during beta testing so they could better understand our thoughts and concerns. Now armed with the second version of Reflector, we’re excited to see the amazing advances developers over at Squirrels have packed into this tiny yet powerful application.

Reflector is set to drastically change how we do business in four different categories. Those of you in the education, business, development industries, or those who enjoy home entertainment are set to enjoy a new way to interact with your audience, and they’ll be blow away with the professional feel and just how interactive they can be in each category.

Education

I’m a visual and hands-on learner. If Reflector had been available in the classroom back in my days, school would’ve been a lot easier. With Reflector teachers are able to get out from behind the desk and take a more hands-on approach with students. Chromebook, iOS and Android screens are wirelessly shared from anywhere in the classroom thanks to Reflector. Students are able to connect their devices to the classroom with Reflectors multi mirroring capabilities.

Thanks to a companion application available in the App Store, Reflector Director, instructors are able to limit or prevent any unwanted connections to control the classroom environment. This also gives instructors and presenters the ability to manage distractions too.

Another great feature available in Reflector is the ability to add voice-over audio to recordings. This gives educators the ability record and plan their lessons for a later date. Since Reflector is completely wireless and easily connects to school networks, teachers are able move away from the front of the classroom and engage students from anywhere in the room, which is great for hands-on learners like myself.

In the classroom students can take a live look at their peers devices thanks to Reflector Student for iOS. With this application students are able to connect to Reflector over restricted networks which are safe, secure, and controlled by the instructor. This is a great example of hands on learning right from the comfort of their own desk.

Business

Not all conference rooms and meeting space are designed the same which means you’ll need different adapters and cables in order to share your screen. With Reflector you’re able to connect quickly and easily to different screens and engage with your audience on a whole new level. If you’re tired of purchasing and carrying around numerous adapters, Reflector lets you lighten the load on your next sales call or business meeting without sacrificing any professional credibility.

Does your presentation include more than one presenter? Reflector lets others get involved in the action so there’s more depth with side-by-side screen comparisons. And you can engage your audience by allowing them to connect their device to your presentation which gives them the ability to become part of the story. Engaging your audience doesn’t get any better than this!

Just as we mentioned in the classroom, Reflector lets you secure a meeting by limiting the number of devices allowed to connect so your audience is fully engaged in the presentation.

Another wonderful advantage you have with Reflector is the ability to create instructional videos or sales demonstrations which can then be stored and shared with your staff or customers. This feature doesn’t just apply to smartphones and tablets. Reflector lets you connect many different devices including computers.

Entertainment

With Reflector you’re able to stream movies, music, photos, and games from your mobile device to create the ultimate media center. Instead of everyone huddling around your phone or tablet, you’re able to push media to larger screens. Given how many devices Reflector can be installed on, users are able to share media from wherever their heart and device desires.

Guests can be included in the fun too since Reflector accepts connections from Google Cast, AirPlay devices, iPads, and even Android tablets all at the same time. The device is the limit when it comes to capabilities.

One feature Reflector has, which families will enjoy, is the ability to play mobile games on larger screens. Even though we have the fourth generation Apple TV, some of the games I enjoy playing with my daughter haven’t made their way over to the TV operation system quite yet. With Reflector we don’t have to wait. I stream my screen to my MacBook or TV and my daughter can watch me play some of our favorite games without both of us huddling around the screen of my iPad Air 2 or iPhone 6s Plus. We both get some much needed space while still enjoying the game.

Developers

When it comes to collaboration while developing or sharing an application, Reflector is going to be your go-to application for developers! With this all-in-one application you’re able collaborate with coworkers or show-off your app to clients on the big screen. And with its updated user interface, which utilizes smart layouts to display multiple connected devices, it helps keep distractions to a minimum while emphasizing only those screens being mirrored. This means iOS and Android devices will look equally impressive next to each other while showing off your next application or big idea.

For those times you need to focus attention on one device simply hide a device without disconnecting it. Now you’re able to show off each device or operating system on its own. When you’re ready to bring other devices back online simply select to show the device again and smart layouts quickly adds it without any distractions. Smooth and simple yet professional and very user friendly.

What’s New in Reflector 2?

Overall user interface got quite a few improvements with this new update. With a newly redesigned control center in Reflector users can easily manage their connected devices. Choose to hide or show connected devices quickly to keep your audience engaged and distraction free.

Another feature helping reduce distractions is smart layouts. As we mentioned earlier Reflector automatically and intelligently chooses the best layout when more devices come online. This allows you to continue with your work or presentation while minimizing distractions without overemphasizing any one connected device.

There are times when you need to spotlight a specific device and this update gives you the ability to bring attention to those screens needing attention right when you need it. Spotlight is easily taken away to bring your presentation right back to center. If you’d rather hide all devices for clarity, users can do that as well by hiding other devices. Again, once emphasis isn’t needed, users can easily show all devices again at the touch of a button.

If you’re a YouTube sensation and sharing your screen is something your subscribers would like, Reflector lets you mirror your screen directly to YouTube with a click of the button. Quickly share a live feed with subscribers and the rest of the world in real time!

Recording options have expanded a bit with Reflector 2. If you create tutorials or instructional videos you’re going to fall in love with this application since you’re able to record voice-over audio for videos.

Developers can use wirelessly recorded video from Reflector and add it to App Store video previews for their applications. It’s so easy to record these high quality videos that are ready in minutes with audio included.

Use with confidence since security options are in place to protect everyone involved. Quick Connect allows safe and secure connection options, which includes Quick Connect Codes, when using other Squirrels applications. Connection prompts give users the ability to allow or deny any device attempting to connect before it’s shown on the big screen. An iOS companion app, Reflector Director, can be used in addition to the OS X version but does carry a onetime additional charge. I highly suggest this application for those needing greater control over their presentations.

There are many more great updates to share with you about Reflector but these are among our favorites. If you’d like to learn more, please visit their website.

How Does it Work?

Generally I use Reflector with my iPhone or iPad and it’s so easy to mirror my iOS screen on my MacBook Pro. With both devices on the same WiFi network, I open Reflector on my MacBook Pro and then swipe up on the bottom of my iOS device screen. Here in Control Center I tap AirPlay to select my MacBook from the list of available devices on my network. A mirroring option is then selectable which allows me to stream my iOS device screen to my MacBook Pro.

Sound from my iOS device is also sent to my MacBook Pro and is no longer heard on the handheld device. A quick user tip here, make sure to adjust the volume on the device you’ll be streaming to prior to using Reflector so you’re ready to go seamlessly.

If you want to enter full screen on Reflector, simply select full screen mode from the drop down menu in the status bar running at the top of the screen. Default color is set to black but if you’d like to change the background color, visit their help screen to learn how to quickly adjust this setting, it’s super easy.

Users can easily connect and mirror to other devices as well. Learn more information about these devices and how to connect them.

Ease of Use

Since we’ve used Reflector in the past, we found it very easy to adjust to these new updates. New users will need to carve out some time to learn how to use this application, especially if they plan to engage with it in a professional setting. Reflector is an amazing tool to have in your arsenal if you’re presentations include smartphones and tablets. It allows you to easily connect numerous devices without the need to carry a bunch of extra cords, which is fantastic in and of itself.

Users don’t have to worry about looking unprofessional either. If anything Reflector gives users the professional edge since the audience can join in on the fun by connecting their device. This lets you engage them more effectively which is more fun for everyone involved.

Once you’re familiar with Reflector it’s extremely easy to navigate all its features. Even recording your devices screen is straight forward and simple. It does take a bit of time to save your video screenshots after its done recording though. I don’t say this to alarm you, but at one point I thought Reflector had stopped responding and nearly initiated a force quit to start over but the progress bar started moving again.

reflector, reflector 2

Final Thoughts

We’ve used Reflector previously for beta testing applications with amazing results and feedback from developers. It’s a great resource for sharing vital information with developers and it’s also something they can refer back to at a later date.

Given how much we used the first generation of Reflector and loved it, we were excited to hear about the updates for its most recent version. We could not be happier with the improvements Squirrels has included with this already amazing application for OS X! The new user interface is so intuitive and easy to navigate as a prior customer. It’s so impressive we don’t know how we fell so hard for the first version given how impressive this current version is.

Reflector is set to reach a whole new audience and expand into classrooms with this new version which allows teachers and students to engage in more hands on learning with the devices they already know and love. There’s nothing like walking into a classroom and already being familiar with the tools needed to learn and Reflector allows students to be more comfortable in their learning environments while allowing instructors to mitigate the possible distractions these devices introduce.

Developers and business professionals alike get an amazingly powerful tool to create, sell, and design from while interacting with others. People become part of the experience with Reflector which only leads to a better experience or product for everyone involved.

Reflector is available from Squirrels for only $14.99 for one license or $62.99 for a five pack. Special education and business pricing is available for orders of 20 or more licenses. A special request can be made for these large orders. A companion app Reflector Director is available in the App Store for only $6.99 which lets you remotely manage devices connected to Reflector. We highly recommend both of these applications since they deliver on everything promised—everything!

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About Author

Jeremy McGinty

Jeremy McGinty is an iOS expert and has written over 350 articles relating to Apple and their products over the past two years. Writing about iPhones, iPads, and anything relating to Apple is what Jeremy does in his free time and you’re going to love reading how he’s a normal guy just like you. Jeremy is the most approachable person you’ll ever meet and you should try it out for yourself, send him a message here!

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