How do people use iOS mirroring?

Today I accidentally discovered the mirroring feature in iOS and easily mirrored my iPhone on my Mac.

It was quite cool and interesting. But I was wondering what the purpose is. Maybe if somebody else is in the room by your computer and you want to show them something on your iPhone on a bigger screen? Any other ways to use it?

I noticed that Apple Music does not play well on the mirrored device. But videos seem to play ok.

I use this every day. I mirror my iPad to our projector and my wife and I do the NYT crossword and yes, the odd Wordle…

And when teaching in person, I use the mirror function to demo features and apps to my students.

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I actually don’t mirror but airplay from my iPad to my Mac on a regular basis. By using airplay, apps like PowerPoint and GoodNotes hide the interface but display the content. So, I get to present via Zoom/Teams/WebEx etc. the good stuff and keep the clutter on my iPad.

I do mirror the exercise workout from my iPhone to larger screen for my wife and I.


It sounds like maybe without a projector or big screen to share with somebody in person it’s not of much use?

When you mention airplay and zoom, if I’m in a Zoom meeting on my Mac can I use airplay to share content from my iPhone?

If you are permitted share your screen or application windows (depends on meeting host), then certainly you may share the device screen. Audio sharing will be whatever your (unmuted) microphone can pick up. These are the ‘at no extra cost’ solutions.

I would be the host. I often share my Mac screen during the meeting. And sometimes the Mac audio. But I’ve never tried to share my iPhone screen.

I use a program called AirServer (there are others) that acts as an AirPlay receiver on the Mac. In a sense, it pretends to be an AppleTV. That allows the iPad not to mirror but to present to the window on the Mac. I then share the window in Zoom/Teams/etc.

It can also send sounds but I don’t use any from my iPad.

So both AirPlay and this new mirroring feature both do the same thing? Sort of confused.

OK, I need to clarify my thoughts.

  1. iPad as Camera - whatever you see on your iPad you see on your Mac
    1.a) Implemented in apps like Quicktime, Ecamm Live, OBS, or anything that treats your iPad/iPhone as a camera (many apps that say you can mirror you iPad to your Mac do iPad as camera)
  2. AirPlay Mirroring - What you see on your iPad can be different than what is on you Mac if the app has a presentation mode.
    2.a. When you use the built in AirPlay Mirroring, it takes up an entire monitor display on your Mac and forces any other displays to be black. This is the “new feature” in Monterey. I do not know if they are going to make it play nicer in Ventura.
    2.b. Apps like AirServer allow you to do AirPlay Mirroring within a Window or Full Screen but leaves your other monitors alone.

Bottom line, “mirroring” used in a description can be either iPad as Camera or AirPlay Mirroring but you don’t know until you try it.

Quite confusing. My impression remains the same. When I tried it I thought “cool!” But I’m stuck figuring out how to use it for anything useful.

I do have a zoom meeting in a few hours. It might be fun to turn my iPhone into a window on my Mac and sharing it in class, just to show off the feature. But it’s not clear to me at all how to do that. Any hints? Is it possible with standard iOS and Mac features?

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Super easy:

  1. Connect your iPhone to your Mac via a Lightening cable
  2. Launch QuickTime Player
  3. Dismiss the file-open dialog (press ESC or click Cancel)
  4. File → New Movie Recording
  5. If it isn’t already showing your iPhone’s screen (e.g. it may show an attached camera video), click the arrow next to the record button and select it.
  6. You’re done

See also: Tip: Record your iPad's screen on your Mac with QuickTime Player | AppleInsider

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That’s the reason why I’ve used it. Works great for demonstrations and reviews when you’re developing a software product. You can put your app up on a big screen or a projector or share it via something like Zoom or Teams.

You have to physically connect the iPhone? To be honest, those instructions don’t seem super easy to me. And I wanted to show off the feature to a volunteer class of seniors I meet with every week. I think that will overwhelm them.

I thought maybe with the new mirroring feature, or Airplay, there was some easy way of just sharing my iPhone screen in a window in Zoom. But it sure doesn’t sound like it!

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There are other mechanisms, but that’s the one I’ve used, since it doesn’t require installation of any software. All you need is a USB/Lightening cable and software built-in to macOS.

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I don’t the mirroring options are super easy. They take some fidgeting. You have to get two apps to work. If you are on the same network and same Apple ID, then it isn’t as complicated to get an iPad or iPhone to display on a monitor.

I use it to teach. I can use my Apple Pencil to write on PowerPoint slides and have a whiteboard that never runs out of ink in the pens. I can share those as a window in Zoom. I draw and write a lot when I teach.

That not just using Zoom on your iPad?

I have a Sportsnet subscription and Apple TV. For some reason baseball games won’t always stream to the TV, so I stream it on my phone and mirror to TV.

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@doug2: No, I do not use Zoom on my iPad. I actually have a much more complicated setup. I use AirServer to mirror to a 1080p window on my Mac Monitor. This puts the iPad into presentation mode. I then use OBS (Open Broadcaster Software), two webcams, and the iPad window to create scenes. One scene is just the iPad. Another scene is the same except my webcam (and me in front of a green screen) is in a lower corner—this is the one I use most. Another scene is two webcams (green screen me, live backyard cam) and the iPad window over a shoulder (think TV news).

I use OBS’s virtual camera as the feed into Zoom. This allows me to easily switch apps on my iPad without messing up the Zoom feed. For all purposes, the iPad doesn’t know about Zoom and Zoom doesn’t know about the iPad. I have a lot of flexibility then. Plus, my desktop is hard-wired to the internet and that is the way to go when teaching and sending video.

My laptop MBP is also hardwired to the network too. Otherwise that sounds way too complicated to me. :)


Thanks Earl, I had forgotten about OBS and that prompted a re-visit, I think I’ll definitely add it to the mix for my teaching next semester, using the iPad with me in the corner.