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Mobile Streaming

To make the Showcase a success, we would love to get volunteers to stream their gams. For the desktop games, this is easy.
Discord allows you to share your computer screen (or even just a single window) with ease.

Mobile streaming is where it becomes a little more complicated. Discord does not support mobile screen sharing. So what do we do? The easiest solution is to share your mobile device with your computer and then share your computer screen (containing the mobile device) with Discord. This is what we have done all semester long, and it has worked fairly well. The challenge is that the right solution depends on your mobile device and your computer operating system.

We will add that a lot of these problems can be solved by installing the Android APKs on BlueStacks. This is a free, fairly robust Android emulator and most of our Android games run on this platform.

Sharing your iOS Screen

For iOS (either iPhone or iPad), you can share your screen without installing any new software (on both MacOS and Windows). However, the way to do it is a bit unusual in each case. You have to use a piece of software in a way that you did not expect.

iOS to MacOS

To share your iOS screen with Mac, you need to use Quicktime Player. This is an application that comes with all Macs and is in your Applications folder. It is primarily used to playback videos, but it can also be used to record videos.

Even though you do not necessarily want to record a video of your gameplay, the recording option allows you to launch a preview window. And that preview window is what you want to share. Go into Quicktime Player and choose New Movie Recording (not Screen Recording). This will launch a window with a record button. That record button has a drop down menu. Select that button and you will see something like the option below:

Quicktime Options

As you can see, there are a lot of options – one for each camera attached and one for each microphone attached. The item called Ascolais is an iPad we use for class. It was recognized because it is plugged into my laptop with a USB cable. You must plug your device into your computer for this to work.

Once you select your device from this menu, it will pop up a preview window showing the screen of your device. No need to hit record! Just keep this window open as you stream.

iOS to Windows

This one is a little trickier, but still doable. If you Google for iOS screen sharing options on Windows, there are a lot of applications that cost a non-trivial amount of money to use. Fortunately, many of you already have a free solution installed: Zoom!

You might be surprised. We said that we wanted you to stream your game with Discord, not Zoom. Just like the solution on MacOS, you just want to use Zoom to preview your phone on your PC. You are not going to use any other features of Zoom.

To share your screen, the first thing to do is to start a Zoom meeting. Where is the Zoom link, you ask? There is none. You will host the Zoom meeting. This will be a lonely meeting. It will only have you and no one else in it. The only purpose of this meeting is to connect your phone to your screen.

Once you start the meeting, share your screen. In Zoom you have the option to share a connected iPad or iPhone, as shown in the picture below:

zoom-win1

Select the option that we have shown here. We you do that, your Windows machine will turn into an Airplay Receiver. It will give you the following instructions to connect to this receiver.

zoom-win2

Now it is time to connect to your device. Access the top-level pulldown menu – the one that you use to turn on Bluetooth. This is illustrated on the left below. The screen mirroring button is the one with two rectangles overlayed on top of each other. Press that button and choose your device as shown on the right below.

                  

When you do this, you should see your device in the screen share window of Zoom. You are ready to start streaming on Discord.

Sharing your Android Screen

For both MacOS and Windows, you must install a third-party application to shared your screen. There are A LOT of sketchy options out there. Or if they are not sketchy, they charge subscription rates. We have found one option that is not sketchy and is mostly free: Vysor. Yes, they have a pricing model. But the free option (well, free with ads) is good enough for Showcase. It even runs on Linux.

Keep in mind that if you do not pay, it will play an ad on your Android screen once every 15 minutes (this is not sketchy; we promise). So you should budget this into your streaming.

For both MacOS and Windows, you must enable debugging on your Android device. If you are uncomfortable doing this, you should use BlueStacks to stream instead.

Android to MacOS

Launch Vysor and make sure that the Android device is plugged into your computer with a USB cable. You should see your device at the top of the window, as shown below:

Here the SM TM800 is my Android device. Press View to start viewing. The first time that you do this it will install a new APK on to your device. Let that finish, and they your screen should appear.

Android to Windows<

The instructions for Windows are much the same as they are for Mac. The only difference is that you have to install some ADB libraries, as shown in the illustration below.

vysor-win

Click on the link. Then follow the instructions for MacOS above.