Your options for getting content on your Xbox One wirelessly are plentiful. However, if the glutton of apps and options for watching movies and TV aren't doing it for you -- or if you have content that simply can't be natively displayed on an Xbox One -- you're not out of luck. In fact, it's pretty easy to get almost anything you want to show on your Xbox One.
Today, we'll show you how you can completely mirror your smartphone to your Xbox One if you're an iOS or Android user. The former bunch will be using AirPlay to do it, while the latter will use the Miracast standard if your smartphone supports it (most should). No matter your phone of choice, it's pretty easy.
What is device mirroring?
Before we begin, here's a quick explanation of device mirroring in case you aren't aware. Device mirroring allows you to beam whatever is showing on your smartphone directly to a different device for showing on a different display. And when we say whatever, we mean it - user interface and all.
This happens differently and is called different things depending on which phone you have. iPhone users do so through AirPlay, which typically is only supposed to work on Apple TV. Those with Android phones use a more open standard called Miracast, which is built into many smartphones, TVs, set-top boxes, and multimedia devices. It may sometimes be called Wireless Display or have some other proprietary name, but it's all based on the same technology.
No matter your creed, the end goal is the same: to get the stuff that's on your smartphone to show on your TV at a 1-for-1 ratio.
Can you mirror your phone to Xbox One?
Yes! Actually, this feature was originally available from Microsoft as part of the Xbox One preview program. It worked well, but Microsoft never fully launched it to the masses despite it being oft-requested. Thankfully, there exists a powerful alternative. All it takes is an app download.
AirServer for Xbox One
Enter AirServer (or as I like to call it, AirSavior). The app makes it insanely simple to mirror both iPhone and Android phones to your Xbox One. In fact, as long as you're using an Android phone with Miracast enabled or an iPhone, you won't even need to download anything other than the AirServer app on Xbox.
Here's how to get it:
- On your Xbox One, head to the Xbox Store.
- Open the search box and type in AirServer.
- Download AirServer.
- Launch AirServer.
And that's it! The rest of the magic happens mostly on your smartphone.
How to mirror your Android phone to Xbox One
Here's where things get a bit tricky. First, you need to figure out whether your phone supports Miracast. You can usually find this information on your phone's box, in its manual, or at its listing on the website of the manufacturer.
Most modern phones should have this feature baked in, either branded as Miracast or with a unique name used by your phone maker. The process for using the feature may also differ from phone to phone. Here's a quick rundown of how to do it on phones from some of the most popular Android device makers:
- Samsung: This feature is called "Smart View" on newer Samsung phones, and you access it by tapping the Smart View button in the quick launch bar of your notifications pane.
- LG: LG calls it Wireless Display, and it's available at Settings > Connected devices > Screen sharing.
- HTC: HTC's solution is HTC Connect, and you access it by swiping up on the display with 3 fingers.
- Sony: Sony refers to Miracast by its natural name, and it's available at Settings > Device connection > Screen mirroring.
Once you've figured out how to access the feature, you'll need to establish the connection between your phone and your Xbox. This should typically be as simple as selecting your Xbox from a list of Miracast-capable devices, with the Xbox One showing up as "XBOXONE" by default.
If all goes well, you should see the user interface from your phone pop up on your TV. Using the phone in portrait mode will show black bars on both sides of the picture, but if you turn the phone over into landscape mode it should fill the screen.
Feel free to show whatever you want from here, including games, pictures, videos, and apps. Do note, however, that some premium video apps - such as Netflix - protect their content using digital rights management, and as such it will not properly show the video playing back on your TV.
How to mirror your iPhone to Xbox One
iPhone owners will find a much more straightforward experience than folks on Android. There's no hunting down info on whether your phone supports Miracast and how to use it on your particular phone. If you have an iPhone or iPad, you have AirPlay, and that's how you're going to mirror your phone to your Xbox One.
The lone prerequisite we discussed before applies here: download AirServer. Now, on your iOS device:
- Open control center. On iPhone X, you can access this by swiping down from the upper right corner of your screen. On all other iPhones and iPads with iOS 10 or later, you swipe up from the bottom of the screen.
- Tap the AirPlay icon. It should have a sub-label called "Screen Mirroring".
- Select your Xbox One from the list.
Also like Android, premium video apps are protected for copyright purposes, so attempting to play video from apps like Netflix may not work.
If all goes well then you won't have any issues getting this going, but there are a couple of common problems that may spring up in your time with AirServer. Here's a list of potential issues and how to fix them:
- If your app crashes, restart it and try again. Many of the early reviews of AirServer have complained about this, but the developers have seemingly smoothened things out over time.
- If you can't find your Xbox in the list of devices you can mirror to, make sure the Xbox and your phone are on the same network. This typically shouldn't be a problem as both Miracast and AirPlay make use of WiFi Direct technology to make it a seamless experience, but there can still be incompatibility issues. Being on the same network should fix them.
- On iPhone, AirPlay may force video apps to beam content to the Xbox for playback on its built-in video player, meaning you won't be able to show the video in the context of the app's UI. Unfortunately, this is a limitation of iOS itself due to the way Apple implemented AirPlay, so this issue can't be fixed.
Enjoy the big screen!
Hopefully, this has helped you find a new way to enjoy your content, share what you're viewing, or whatever it is you may find screen mirroring on Xbox One useful for. Be sure to try AirServer on your Xbox One with a free 24-hour trial, and if you find it useful then it's just $10 to make it a permanent piece of your multimedia-viewing arsenal.
The best way to get going.
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