Review: Reflector 2 for Air Play and ChromeCast Mirroring

Apple hasn’t been kind to Squirrels the creators of AirParrot and Reflector. Features of their AirPlay utility apps have now been integrated into OS X and QuickTime. You can natively share your desktop to Apple TV (formerly an AirParrot-only feature) or record iOS screens (just as provided by Reflector).

Of course, Squirrel’s versions do both a little bit better. AirParrot lets you choose which window to share and offers far more control. Reflector in turn enables you to record video from any iOS device, not just the lightning generation. So if you’re looking to use these features from older OS’s and older devices, there’s no better solution out there.

Now Reflector 2 adds further support to the mix. The newly updated app introduces ChromeCast mirroring so you can set your Mac as a cast destination. Unfortunately after kicking the wheels the newly released app seems just a tiny bit away from being ready for prime time.

I tested the mirroring from Chrome on Mac.  On the same Mac, Chrome mirrored flawlessly (albeit pointlessly) but I encountered errors when attempting to cast from a second Mac. My browser saw Reflection 2 and the connection was successfully acknowledged at both ends but no video was ever presented even after rebooting and updating Chrome.

On iOS, I tested using both YouTube and Pandora, both on iPad and iPhone. My branded ChromeCast hardware appeared in each app but not the Reflector 2 destination. (And, sadly, my first generation Kindle Fire was completely useless for any practical purpose of testing. I couldn’t get any apps, even “ChromeCast enabled” ones, to even show the option.) In all cases, my hardware shared a common network with both the hardware and the emulated Reflector 2 ChromeCasts.

And, of course, both devices worked fine with Air Play and Reflector 2. The transmission came through clear and trouble-free as expected.

Reflector 2 is $14.99 and offers a 7-day free trial. I’m hoping updates will quickly sort out the ChromeCast issues I experienced but even without that support, Squirrel’s AirPlay suite are terrific for anyone developing for iOS or presenting and recording demos from their devices.

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