Vysor Lets You Control Your Android Phone From Your Computer

Koush is at it again. Just when you think the guy has run out of ideas, he comes back with another gem of a software solution. This time, the acclaimed Android developer of ClockworkMod fame has created a Chromium app that not only lets you mirror the display of your Android device to your desktop, but also lets you take complete control of it and share that control over the web with another user. After the break, we explain in detail how to set it up. You might want to stick around if you’re having problems with your installation.

Vysor-Android-remote-desktop-control-Chrome

The first part doesn’t sound that groundbreaking, does it? Well, it really isn’t. It is also not the app’s spotlight feature. As the developer himself mentions in a Google+ post describing his app, the core offering here is the Vysor Share feature, which allows a user to share control of his Android device with anyone over the internet using a unique URL (that seems to expire every time the device is disconnected). Of course, the recipient needs to have Vysor installed on their computer as well. Koush goes on to say that he sees Vysor as a tool for developers, an alternative solution they can avail to test their apps remotely on a plethora of devices and configurations without having to use the much slower Android simulator.

As far as control from your own desktop is concerned, it’s been done before by a number of apps, but maybe not as efficiently. If you’ve done this sort of this before, you’ll find that setting up and using Vysor is vastly simpler. Here’s all you need to set it up for the first time.

How To Set Up Vysor

  1. Install the Vysor app to Google Chrome and launch it.
  2. Since the app uses ADB to create a bridge between the two Chrome app, you’ll need to install Koush’s Universal ADB Drivers on your computer if you’re running Windows. There’s a link to the drivers at the bottom of Vysor’s app window.
  3. You’ll also need to enable the Settings > Developer options > USB debugging option on your Android device If you can’t see Developer options in you Android device’s Settings menu, go to Settings > About > Software information > More and tap on Build number multiple times till the device tells you the developer menu is available.
  4. Once the prerequisites are met, simply connect your phone or tablet to your computer via USB. Remember to check for the RSA key prompt that appears when you connect to your computer (screenshot below). Unless you’re testing this on someone else’s computer, enable the ‘Always allow from this computer’ option at the bottom to avoid having to deal with this prompt every time.

USB-debugging-RSA-key-prompt

That’s it. You don’t need to have root access or any companion app installed on your Android device. Every time you connect an Android device to your computer with Vysor running, the app will automatically connect to it and display a separate window mirroring its screen. All this might still seem like a lot of work to those who haven’t tried similar solutions before, but know that once the initial setup is done, you have to do virtually nothing before future sessions.

Vysor-screen-mirroring

On a successful connection, you’ll see your device listed in Vysor’s main window, with a Share option to its right that generated the unique URL you’ll need to share your screen over the web.

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Any remote devices are also automatically added to the list whenever a share URL is opened.

Vysor-Share-remote-control-notification

We tested the app with an HTC One M8, and the control seemed quite smooth for the most part. Of course, it may vary from device to device. The scheme is very natural. You can use both the mouse and keyboard to navigate and type. Escape is Back, F1 is Menu and Home is, well, Home. Give it a shot!

The app is currently in beta and available on the Chrome Web Store. You can use it for free as long as it is in beta. The final build, as detailed by Koush, will be divided into four pricing tiers, with one being free. He didn’t mention the restrictions that would be applied to the free version.

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