One of the common questions I’ve been getting over the past week from folks has been how to take advantage of this semi-obscure ‘Project my Screen’ entry that was added to the settings collection with Windows Phone 8.1.
This entry is enabled in one of two ways: by using Miracast capabilities delivered in 8.1, and by using the Project my Screen app on a PC and connecting your phone to your PC using a USB cable (sorry – no WiFi yet).
I believe the ‘Project my Screen’ application has been one of the more eagerly awaited features by developers and technical enthusiasts alike. Since we launched Windows Phone 7.0, I’ve received at least a 2-3 mails/questions a month on how they can do demos like Microsoft presenters. With this enabled, anyone can fire up their phone and project a demo of their app or their phone. So, let me lay out how you can demo your app and phone.
Project my Screen requirements
The application is a desktop/x86 application (not a Windows Store app), and should run on Windows 7 and later. And, talking to the team, there is currently no plan to expand this to a Store app, nor is there a plan to enable this to connect to a television or non-PCs. A lot of this stems from the core purpose of this viewing application is to enable demos. The use case for televisions and other device types will come along with Miracast support (I don’t have any details on this, but I will post more on this as I get more information).
How to install it
To make use of the Project my Screen app, you need to do the following:
- Download and install the Project My Screen app from the Microsoft Download Center
- Start up the application using the ‘Project my Screen’ shortcut on the desktop or program list. This will start up a full-screen – click <ESC> to get that puppy to window down
- Connect your phone to your computer using a data-transfer quality USB cable
- You should get a prompt for permission to allow screen projection, click ‘yes’
- At this point, your phone screen should show up (similar to below)
Command cheat sheet
There is a limited number of commands available in the application to control the demo experience. The table below summarizes the commands available to you (you can get this list in app by hitting F1):
|View the help screen||<F1>|
|Quit to windowed mode||<ESC>|
|Toggle background image on/off||B|
|Toggle the expanded screen mode||E|
|Toggle full-screen mode||F or <Alt>+<Enter>|
|Toggle the phone shell image||P|
|Toggle visibility of ‘touch dots’||T|
|Display the current [desktop] frame rate||R|
|Force orientation to landscape left||Left arrow key|
|Force orientation to landscape right||Right arrow key|
|Force orientation to portrait up||Up arrow key|
|Force orientation to portrait down||Down arrow key|
|Reset orientation to match phone||<spacebar>|
…if your screen won’t project…
If you don’t get a prompt on your phone and the Project my Screen app remains blank/black, you may have some old phone drivers hanging around. To get rid of them, head over to your machine’s device manager (my preferred way of getting there on Windows 8.1 is to secondary-mouse-click on the Start button and select ‘Device Manager’ from the pop-up menu).
Once in the Windows Device Manager, you’ll want to remove + uninstall the drivers related to your device. When removing these drivers, it’s important that you get them all – not only the actual device itself, but the related USB device drivers.
To do this, do the following steps, keeping the plugged in:
- Right-click on each driver you want to delete and select ‘uninstall’
- A dialog will pop up asking you to confirm uninstallation. If you also have the option to delete/remove the drivers, select that
- Once they’ve all been uninstalled, unplug and replug in your phone back in and Windows should take care of the driver magic
- You should also now get the screen projection prompt shown above