5 Comments

Summary:

Can you view and interact with the screen of an Android device through a browser or a Chromebook? Thanks to an experimental setting: Yes. The feature could prove useful to Android developers.

chrome android screencast

Anyone with the Android SDK installed can show off a connected Android device screen on a computer. Can you do it in a browser though? Yes you can, making for both a fun party trick and a useful way for developers to debug web applications on Android devices of various sizes.

Google’s François Beaufort offers up the steps on Google+ to make the magic happen, which requires the latest experimental devtools for screencasting in Chrome. You’ll need to be running the Dev channel of either the Chrome browser or Chrome OS and then follow this process:

  • Enable chrome://flags/#enable-devtools-experiments and chrome://flags/#remote-debugging-raw-usb flags in Chrome Dev Channel and restart
  • Go to chrome://inspect and plug your Android Device (make sure USB Debugging is ON before)
  • Allow USB debugging by tapping “OK”
  • At this point your Android device should appear in chrome://inspect
  • Open Chrome Beta for Android and visit a website
  • On your computer, open the DevTools, click on the Gear icon in the bottom-right corner, on “Experiments”, check “Enable screencast” and close the DevTools
  • Finally, click on the “Inspect” link and click on the brand new “Screencast” icon in the bottom left corner to enable it

Once you walk through the steps, you’ll see a virtual Android device in the browser, complete with an active screen that shows what’s on your phone or tablet. Interaction between the two is also possible as shown in Beaufort’s sample video:

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  1. I’d like to see someone develop a non-samsung specific version of Sidesync that would work with any android device and any PC. Do you know if there is such an app? It seems like it would have similar functionality to this experimental app with a little more polish.

    1. Samsung SideSync is originally created by RSUPPORT. Their application Mobizen is almost identical and currently free during their beta period. http://www.mobilzen.com

  2. This would be so cool if eventually the Chrome OS background could be set to your Android device’s home screen–then we’d finally get widgets and Android app functionality on our Chromebooks.

  3. I have no entry “enable screencast” in experiments. One need Canary probably to use this

  4. Jacob Schweitzer Friday, December 6, 2013

    There is an interesting application in the Chrome Web Store called AirDroid. It’s for any computer running Chrome browser and also compatible with Chrome OS. You install it in Chrome and on your Android phone. You don’t see exactly what’s on your phones screen, but it’s all over the air, no cables needed. You can check and reply to your texts, browse all the files on your phone, transfer files back and forth, create new folders on your phone, change your settings, see your battery and network status, etc. It’s pretty nifty for being free. They do have a paid version, which allows up to six devices to be connected, rather then just one as in the free version. I don’t have a tablet, only an Android phone so that limitation does not matter to me at the moment. It’s worth having a look at.

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