I had an interesting discussion today with a professor who said they want to know how to use their iPhone and iPad to project slide shows, pictures, and video content onto the big screen at the front of their classroom. I realized immediately that this was a topic that was severely under-developed. After all, what professor, teacher, speaker, etc… anyone who’s projecting content onto a big screen for an audience, wouldn’t want to know how to use their iPhone or iPad (or any mobile device for that matter) to do this?
So after leaving the meeting, I decided to dig into this a bit further and see what solutions were out there for projecting your iPhone or iPad onto external screens and monitors. I came up with two solutions, and only one that really makes sense for a teacher, or anyone giving a presentation. I’ll save my least favorite (or less useful) solution for the very end. For now, let me show you what I believe is the absolute best way to display content from your iPhone or iPad on an external screen, monitor, or source.
How to show (display) your iPhone, iPad on an external screen or computer monitor
I’ll keep this explanation in the context of a college professor because that’s what initially made me want to explore the solution in the first.
1) You’ll need to purchase the AirServer app which is compatible for both Mac and PC laptops.
2) You’ll need a simple VGA cable to run from the VGA port on your laptop to the auxiliary VGA hub that’s next the computer in the classroom – I believe there is something like a VGA hub that sites next to the monitors in the classrooms.
SEE ALSO: Find inexpensive VGA cables on Amazon
3) Then you just need to connect your iPhone or iPad to your computer via bluetooth and that’s it – the screen in the classroom will now project (or mirror) whatever is displaying on your iPhone or iPad.
The AirServer app on your Mac or PC laptop connects to the AirPlay signal coming from your iPhone or iPad.
You have to be running iOS 6 in order for this to work, so make sure your iPhone or iPad is updated to at least iOS 6.0.
Other than than, once your install AirServer on your Mac or PC laptop > connect your laptop to the VGA hub in the classroom > then connect your iPhone or iPad to the laptop via bluetooth, you’ll be broadcasting your device on the classroom screen.
The other big advantage to using AirServer on your laptop is you’ll be able to walk around the classroom and control the screen content remotely right from your iPhone or iPad.
I believe Apple has signal blocking technology (or something) that would prevent you from displaying content purchased through iTunes on the screen through AirServer. But everything else (Keynote slides, PowerPoints, YouTube, Websites, etc…) should all work perfectly.
Here’s the link to AirServer (this is what you download and install on your laptop) >> http://www.airserverapp.com/en/Download.
Solution #2 – Displaying iPhone, iPad content onto screens and computer monitors
And now solution #2, which I think would be much less desirable for a professor, teacher, and someone giving a presentation.
The reason I think this is a much less desirable solution is because it doesn’t allow you to walk around the classroom and use your iPhone or iPad as a remote clicker on the big screen. Anyone in a classroom environment is going to want to be mobile. And solution #1 above allows you to move around the room, using your iPhone or iPad to control the content on the screen.
But you never know what unique needs people have out there, so here’s another way to project content from your iPhone and iPad onto an external screen or computer monitor.
1) This time you’ll need a 30 pin to VGA cable, or lightning adapter (iPhone 5, iPad 4th gen, etc…) to VGA.
2) Run the cable from your iPhone or iPad straight into the VGA port on your computer, laptop, external auxiliary hub, etc…
3) Once you’ve got your iPhone or iPad hooked up the VGA port on the other end, the display should pick it up and you’ll see your content.
Again, the downside here is that your iPhone or iPad is now plugged in to the VGA port so you aren’t going to be walking around like you could with solution #1 above.
And that’s it – let me know in the comments if you’ve already been using your iPhone or iPad to project content to a screen in your classroom, or where ever, and / or if you have any problems and need some help.
Finally, here’s a video about AirsServer that might help you visualize this a little better: