for Your Android

When delivering presentations about Android, a frequent challenge is: how do I
get the audience to see what’s on a device’s screen?

In the beginning, we had two options:

  1. Use the emulator, which back in the early days of Android was ARM-only and
    very slow

  2. Use a hardware projector (e.g., an ELMO), which were hard to find

In 2009, to help with this, I created DroidEx.
This has long been relegated to
the dustbin of history, outside of this fork.
DroidEx used the same protocol that adb uses for screenshots (e.g., from inside
Android Studio), just pushing the screenshots into a desktop window. It was
slow (~6 fps), but it worked.

Later, Jens Riboe took the DroidEx concept and created Droid@Screen,
with a better desktop UI. And that’s what I used for years for presentations…
until very recently.

If you can demo using an Android 5.0+ device, use scrcpy,
by Romain Vimont and Genymobile.

This uses a little H.264 server, pushed over onto the device, which the client
then plays back. This offers much better performance (30-60 fps). I even accidentally
demonstrated an Android device playing back video, and scrcpy handled it flawlessly.
It is as to use as was Droid@Screen — just run the scrcpy command
to push over the server bit, start it running, and launch the client UI. The
client UI even accepts input and forwards it to the device, so you can control
the hardware from your notebook.

If you are delivering presentations with Android demos — sales, conference
presentations, training, etc. — and you have a case where an emulator is
insufficient, scrcpy should be in your toolbox.

Need an Android programming guide for your development team? An Enterprise Warescription to The Busy Coder’s Guide to Android Development is available for of + . Contact Mark Murphy for details.


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