Working on multiple monitors can save you a lot of time and increase your productivity. However, if you don't have a second monitor at home, or only need a second monitor for a short time, you can use your Android instead. It can be a better option as it won't take up much space and it's also portable.
In this article, we are going to show you different ways to use your Android device as a second monitor. Additionally, we'll walk through the process of setting up your Android TV and tablet as a second monitor.
There are many third-party apps that can turn your Android into a second screen. For Windows, the best app you can use is Space Desktop, a screen mirroring and extending app. For this to work, there are several things you need to do:
- Download Spacedesk Drivers on your Windows. Be sure to choose the correct installer file type for your version of the Windows operating system.
- Follow the on-screen instructions to install Spacedesk.
- Install the Spacedesk app on your Android device.
- Open the app.
- Tap the "+" icon next to "Connect to primary machine (server)".
- Enter your Windows IP address.
- Press the "Connect" button.
When these two devices are linked, your Android screen will be the same as your Windows screen. If you don't want your Android to mirror the Windows screen but just act as its extension, here's what you need to do:
- Right-click anywhere on your Windows screen.
- Choose “Display Settings”.
- Select "Extend these displays" from the drop-down menu.
- Click on the “Apply” button.
The good thing about this application is that you only need an internet connection to use it, without the need for a USB cable. Just make sure your Windows and Android are on the same LAN network. Keep in mind that the Android Spacedesk app can only be used with the Windows Spacedesk driver.
The best screen mirroring and extending app available for your Mac is iDisplay. Here's what you need to do to make your Android a second monitor on your Mac:
- Download iDisplay drivers from their website.
- Allow iDisplay to make changes to your device.
- Follow the onscreen instructions to install iDisplay on your Mac.
- Restart your Mac if prompted.
- Download the iDisplay app from the Google Store.
- Open it on your Android device. The app will immediately start searching for nearby devices.
- Connect your Android to your Mac.
- Choose between "Additional monitor" and "Mirrored monitor".
That's all we can say about it. You can also use iDisplay with Windows and iPhone devices. Just make sure both devices are connected to the same Wi-Fi. You can even use iDisplay to connect three or even four monitors. Moreover, you can link multiple devices at once, although this only applies to mirror mode.
Most screen mirroring and screen extending apps only work for Windows and Mac, but Linux users can turn to the Deskreen app. Moreover, this application allows you to use several screens at the same time. For this to work, you will need a 5 GHz Wi-Fi or Ethernet network. Once you have downloaded the application on your Linux, here is what you need to do next:
- Download the Deskreen application on your Linux.
- Right-click on the downloaded file and go to "Properties".
- Check the "Allow file to run as a program" box.
- Open the application on your Linux. You will see a barcode and a link on the window.
- Scan the barcode or copy the link to the mobile app.
- Connect both devices.
- Click the “Allow” button.
- Choose "Share Screen View" or "Share Application View".
- Confirm that you want to share your Linux display on your Android device.
With Deskreen, you can only use 5GHz Wi-Fi or Ethernet to connect these two devices, or you can use a USB cable. This application is free and very easy to use.
All of the third-party apps mentioned above can also be used with a USB cable. This method may be more convenient in situations where you don't have a Wi-Fi connection. However, to download any of these apps, you must be connected to the Internet.
Basically, whatever app you choose, here's how you can use it with a USB cable:
- Connect your Android device and your computer or laptop with a USB cable.
- Download the chosen application to your computer.
- Follow the on-screen instructions to install it.
- Download the app on your Android app.
- Connect both devices.
You wouldn't want to unplug the USB display while you're sharing your screen. Since the USB method is an alternative, you can also simply use Wi-Fi to maintain the connection between these two devices. Just make sure it's the same Wi-Fi.
Not only can you use your Android device as a second monitor, but you can do the same with your Android TV. In this case, your Android TV and computer will need to be on the same Wi-Fi. You might also need an HDMI cable or you can use your Android TV as a second wireless monitor with Chromecast. Chromecast app and Chrome extension can be used with your computer and phone.
As you may know, Chromecast lets you play movies and TV shows on your computer, which you can watch on your TV. Once you've added the Chromecast extension to your Chrome, here's what you need to do to use your Android TV as a second monitor:
- Open Google Chrome on your computer.
- Click the Chromecast button in the upper right corner of the browser. Next to "Cast this tab to...", select the right arrow. You'll see the following options: 'Cast current tab', 'Cast entire screen' or 'Audio mode'.
- Select "Cast Entire Screen".
- Click "Yes" in the confirmation window.
- Select your Android TV from the list of devices and wait for these two devices to connect.
You will now be able to use your Android TV as a second screen. When you no longer want to use your Android TV for this, you can simply click the "Stop Sharing" button on your computer.
Using an Android tablet as a second monitor might be an even better option for a much larger screen. You can use any of the apps mentioned above for your Android tablet. If you don't want to use any of them, you can download Splashtop Wired XDisplay. This app is compatible with Windows, macOS, iOS, Kindle and Android devices. Keep in mind that you will need a USB cable for this application.
To use your Android tablet as a second monitor, follow the steps below:
- Download the Splashtop Wired XDisplay app to your computer. Be sure to choose the correct version for your operating system.
- Follow the onscreen instructions to install the app.
- Download the app on your Android tablet.
- Connect these two devices with a USB cable.
- Start using your Android tablet as a second screen.
There are plenty of reasons to want a second screen, whether it's for work or for fun. Luckily, there are various third-party apps you can use to extend or mirror your computer's display. All you need is an internet connection and a USB cable.
Have you ever used your Android device as a second screen before? What app did you use? Let us know in the comments section below.