With the release of Chromecast streaming devices in that past few years, Google has opened up the ability for Android users to have their smartphone and tablet screens displayed wirelessly on pretty much any screen which has an HDMI input - typically your TV. If you want to use a cable so you don't have to buy a Chromecast, many Android devices let you use their microUSB port as a video output. For full details, see How to connect Android to a TV.
This feature is particularly useful if you want to show family and friends photographs or videos you have on your phone without everyone having to crowd around a 5-inch device. You can also turn your television into a fully featured internet browser. The process is simple, and we’ll show you how to get up and running in no time at all.
What you’ll need:
Obviously the first thing you’ll need is an Android phone or tablet running a reasonably recent version of the operating system. Kitkat (Android 4.4) and upwards would be best. The other hardware required is a Chromecast or Chromecast 2 device. You can buy an original Chromecast from ebay and a few retailers, or a Chromecast 2 from Tesco for £30, or directly from Google. Oh, yes. A TV or other display with HDMI would be handy, too.
Download the free Chromecast app from the Google Play Store, as this allows phones and tablets to communicate with the Chromecast devices.
You’ll also need your handset and Chromecast to be on the same Wi-Fi connection.
How to mirror your Android device’s display: in brief
- Open Chromecast app
- Tap the three lines in the top left corner
- Tap Cast Screen / Audio
- Select Chromecast device
How to mirror your Android device’s display: in detail
If you haven’t already gone through the basic setup of your Chromecast device, then you’ll want to do that first. The process is actually very easy, as it mainly involves plugging the device into the back of your TV and giving it access to your WiFi connection. Follow our guide on How to setup and use a Google Chromecast and you’ll be good to go in a matter of minutes.
Once the Chromecast is ready all you need to do is open the Chromecast app on your phone or tablet, then tap the Devices tab to check that your newly installed dongle is being detected by the phone. If it is you’ll see a picture on the main panel that should match the one currently displayed on your TV.
To mirror your mobile device’s screen, tap the three lines in the upper left hand corner of the display and you’ll see a menu slide out.
The second option on the list is Cast screen / audio. Tap this and you’ll be taken to a page with images and text telling you about mirroring. Beneath the artwork is a yellow button entitled Cast Screen / Audio, tap this and you’ll see another pop up box listing all the Chromecasts the phone can detect. Select your one (there will most likely only be one on the list at the moment) and you should magically see everything that’s on your phone now also displayed on the TV screen.
Tap the home button to exit the app, then you can navigate around your device and whatever you’re looking at will also appear on the TV. When you’re finished all you have to do is return to the Chromecast app and tap the Disconnect Cast Screen option on the Devices tab and you TV will revert back to normal. Alternatively you can just drag down the Settings menu and Casting Screen should be the top box, with the option to Disconnect underneath.