aNewDomain.net – When you’re traveling it’s hard to browse for extended periods of time even on the best mobile phone screens. And trying to type on a mobile phone for any length of time? Forget about it. Waxing eloquent on a mobile phone isn’t easy unless you have tiny fingers.
So the idea of extending email, browsing and video content from an Android phone for use on an Android tablet is very appealing, but does that mean I need an expensive tethering account? And wouldn’t I need a 3G-enabled tablet? Turns out I don’t. A new app called ScreenShare from Spring Design – they’re the ones who won the dual display patent infringement suit against Barnes & Noble (you’ll see why that’s important) — uses Bluetooth, Wi-Fi or mobile hotspots to move content, email, and browser between the phone and tablet, all without tethering. It can instantly mirror what you have on your phone to the tablet without the tedious setup involved in starting the tethering and then finding the right Internet web site to mirror your phone.
This makes a lot of sense on the road because I can extend my email to the tablet and use the tablet’s keyboard which is far more comfortable to write emails, and read email attachments even though the email client isn’t actually resident on my tablet. And when I’m browsing, a ScreenShare button on the phone extends my browser to the tablet where I can read articles while continuing to browse for more articles on my phone, using the phone almost like a table of contents. The content on the phone and tablet don’t have to be the same – one can be unhitched from the other when you need it to be.
You can also use it as a great YouTube viewer with dual screens, the phone acting as a remote control. With a tablet with HDMI connection linked to your TV, you can use your phone to control your television. Spring Design says that next on its list is a gallery application that lets you view your phone-based pictures on your tablet, allowing you to zoom and move the pictures around on the tablet. The gallery application will be handy on flights with content already on the phone, like pictures or videos (or if there’s Wi-Fi on your plane, even better). Here’s how it works.
ScreenShare syncs content instantly between the phone and the tablet and there are no tedious steps to setup tethering. It is similar to Apple’s Air Play concept but it can work with tablets with two-way exchanges instead of working with just televisions. Are the telcos happy about this? I don’t know, but it seems like ScreenShare is a clever way around the tethering issue, so long as your phone has a cellular account. It may actually drive up the telcos’ cellular business because if people want to watch video on the larger screen in ScreenShare Wi-Fi mode when traveling, they would need a Wi-Fi hotspot.
If you’re like me, a big tablet user in the kitchen, your screen is typically covered in greasy W’s and Z’s trying to scroll between ingredients and cooking video demos. With ScreenShare you can look at the YouTube ingredients and comments on the phone and the video demo on the tablet.
ScreenShare from Spring Design, www.springdesign.com is in final beta now, and it’s free on Google Play. The final version is due out at the end of January with a $4.95 ad-free Premium version promised at the same time.
Note: Spring Design will demonstrate ScreenShare at The Connected Traveler Technology Showcase Booth #511 at The New York Times Travel Show January 18 – 20 at Javits Center in New York City.