AMITIAE - Tuesday 29 April 2014

Mirage from PlumAmazing: View iOS Device Screens on a Mac in Realtime (Amended)

apple and chopsticks


By Graham K. Rogers


PlumAmazing is one of those developers who come up with some occasional gems. I already use iWatermark on the Mac and my iOS devices, as well as yType on the Mac: it saves me hours in tapping out HTML code. That was one of the apps that I did not realise I needed, until I started using it. PlumAmazing has just released Mirage, an OS X application that allows mirroring of an iOS device - more accurately, devices - on the screen of the Mac.

It is already possible to display a single device on the Mac screen in a couple of ways. These require a suitable adapter or an Apple TV. I have a selection of adapters I use with my iOS devices. For the iPad (and my previous iPhones) Apple has 30-pin adapters for VGA output, so I can show the screen of the iOS device via a projector in a classroom. There is also an adapter for HDMI output, so I can view content on my large TV screen at home.

The newer iPhone uses a Lightning adapter and I only have the type for VGA output as this is my priority (the TV does have a VGA port too). With this adapter (or the 30-pin one for the iPad), as well as display of content(like images or text files), I can run Keynote and make presentations.

I can also use AirPlay via my AppleTV which is connected via HDMI to my TV. Content is displayed on the larger screen via the Wi-Fi connection. This is useful in a number of ways, especially when viewing photographs: the smaller screen of the MacBook Pro may not always do them justice. Unlike the adapters, the AirPlay connection does not mirror the display of the iSO devices, it just allows access to content in apps.

What has been missing is a way to mirror the iOS device via the screen of the Mac. This is the function of PlumAmazing's Mirage. Although the application costs $16 (about 530 baht), I began with the trial version which gives me 30 days use, limited to about 30 minutes at a time. Although the developer has a number of apps available in the MacApp Store, Mirage is not listed. Nor are iWatermark or yType, although the iOS version of iWatermark is available on the iTunes App Store.

I downloaded the Mirage application from the PlumAmazing site and the instructions were fairly clear. On the iPhone, I turned on Airplay in the Control Center (swipe the screen up). A panel opened and I saw that there was an entry for the Mirage software. I tapped that to make it active, pressed the Mirroring button that was made available, and the iPhone screen appeared on the Mac. As well as an onscreen introduction, there is a manual available at the PlumAmazing site.


Anyone who has tried to show a group of people (even in a family situation) the screen of an iPhone will realise the advantages here. I repeated the process on the iPad and was pleased to see that both devices were displayed alongside each other on the screen of the Mac.

I was able to scroll, open apps and acces content in realtime. What I did on the iPhone (or iPad) was shown on the Mac: instantly in most cases. Once or twice there was a pause. A couple of times the iPhone screen on the Mac went black, but the proper display was refreshed and returned within a second or two.

The display also went black when the screen on the iPad went off (power-saving). If I caught this right away, the screen would reappear on the Mac. On a couple of occasions I had to access the AirPlay panel, turn off mirroring, then turn it back on again. I have seen similar problems with the VGA adapter so this is not a fault with Mirage.


The display of the iOS device on the Mac was limited to the height of the screen. While the iPhone mirror was larger, on the 13" MacBook Pro, the iPad was the same size or slightly smaller than the real device. With the iMac, there is a clear difference as the display on that device is much taller.


The application has a lot more than just a simple mirroring feature as there is an ability to record video of actions. When the mouse is run over the screen of the iOS device (on the Mac) there are a number of controls available, including a record button. In this way, a teacher or a developer could create a video to illustrate actions on the iOS device for later viewing by other users or students.

resolutions There a number of screen resolutions available including 1920 x 1080. When in use there is a full screen mode, although some images may have a fair sized border if they are not able to make full use of the screen size.

A menubar item allows access to a menu with a number of quick access items, including the ability to use iPv6.

Mirage cannot be used by all iOS devices. Those that meet the specifications are

  • iPad 2 or newer
  • iPad mini
  • iPhone 4S or newer
  • iPod Touch 5+

The software can be used not just via a WiFi connection (802.11a/b/g/n/ac), but also using LAN 10/100/1000 or Bluetooth. It will run on Macs that have OS X 10.6.8 or later. I am running version 10.9.2.

Because of the potential here, I bought the full version, but had some problems logging in to the PlumAmazing site. The email address used to send me information was not recognised. In the end, I took advantage of the Amazon login and ordered the registration key back at PlumAmazing. That was sent immediately and I was able to use the application to its fullest.

Mirage was a pleasant surprise right "out of the box". As soon as I made the AirPlay connection and the iPhone screen appeared on the Mac's display, I was sold. The idea of being able to see an iOS device on the screen, to show it to others and to record the actions gives me a number of ways in which I imagine I could use this in teaching, demonstration and sharing with friends. Highly recommended.

Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand where he is also Assistant Dean. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. He is now continuing that in the Bangkok Post supplement, Life.



Made on Mac

For further information, e-mail to

information Tag information Tag

Back to eXtensions
Back to Home Page