Broadcasting your phone’s screen to web browsers using Screen Stream
Screen Stream by Dmitriy Krivoruchko is an app for streaming your phone’s screen over HTTP so other people on the same network can view it using a web browser. It is free and open source, available from the F-Droid catalogue, and works beautifully on LineageOS.
In the screenshot above, you can see the screen of my phone streaming into my browser on my GNU/Linux desktop. The app being streamed is called ObscuraCam, a free and open source tool for automatically anonymising faces in photos1.
Using Screen Stream couldn’t be simpler:
Copy your phone’s IP address and port by pressing the copy button next to your device’s address.
Press the Start Stream button.
Send the address you copied earlier to the people you want to share your screen with and ask them to enter it into their web browsers’ address bars.
Fixing the empty black screen in browser error
If you see an empty black screen in the browser while attempting to view the stream, try this:
Go back to the Start Stream application on your phone and swipe from the left edge of the screen to show the app menu and select Settings.
Check the Disable MJPEG check setting.
It seems that the code that checks for MJPEG support has a tendency to give false negatives and that stops the stream from working in browsers that otherwise do support the stream. Screen Stream might not work in every browser2 but disabling this check will increase the number of browsers it does work in.
Fixing the “no address found” error
Sometimes after I stop a stream, the Screen Stream app will report “no address found” under Device addreses. In these situations, merely closing the app from the task launcher and relaunching it doesn’t appear to have an effect.
To fix this, select Settings → Apps & Notifications → (See All Apps, if you cannot see Screen Stream) → Screen Stream → Force Stop and then restart the app and you should have an address again.
A lovely, useful, and ethical app
Screen Stream is a beautiful ethical app for easily sharing your screen with others on the same network3. It’s also a testament to the wonderful and inspiring free and open source app ecosystem on non-proprietary platforms today.
Thank you, Dmitriy, for making it and sharing it with the world.
- Did they miss a trick by not calling it Camera Obscura? [return]
- In our brief tests, Laura was not able to access the stream from Safari on macOS but was able to using Chrome (by surveillance capitalist Google/Alphabet, Inc.) I was able to get the stream to work under Gnome Web, Firefox (by surveillance capitalist Mozilla), and Chromium (the open source project by surveillance capitalist Google/Alphabet, Inc.) [return]
- Which, if you set up a proxy or expose your IP, could be the whole world. [return]