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Sponsored App Review: YouMap

December 31, 2014 - Written By Tom Dawson

YouMap is an Android app that aims to take care of all your streaming and casting needs from your Android smartphone or tablet using Chromecast and AirPlay protocols. That means you can mirror your display using a web browser, a TV with a connected Chromecast or even an AirPlay-enabled device. It’s a nifty little app that should help people performing presentations, showing off photos, teaching people to use apps and more. We can think of YouMap as a simplified and siloed VNC for Android, as it mirrors your display and audio to another. So with such an impressive feature list, just how good is YouMap?

To get started with the app, you’ll need to download YouMap from the Play Store. While some rooted devices and custom ROM’s might work out of the box, there’s no guarantees here and many of you, including myself, will need to download the free desktop app from the VMLite website.

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I’m not rooted, so I had to the same sort of thing. When you have the app all set up, there are some settings that you might want to take a look at. These include the VNC password and whether or not to record audio from the system or using the device’s microphone. Using the microphone might be especially helpful for those demonstrating something while talking.

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Once you have things set up, you can go ahead and hit the big red button, which should then give you a web address to access your Android device’s screen while connected to the same network or a VNC address.

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You can also choose to just cast your screen, which includes AirPlay devices as well. This is certainly an easy to send your Android tablet’s display to another that’s for sure. You can also record a video of what’s happening onscreen as well as take a screenshot whenever you like.

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YouMap is certainly an interesting app, and one that does exactly what it says it does. There’s no need to be rooted, which is a very nice touch for the vast majority of users and if you have a Chromecast where you’re looking to mirror your screen this is nice and easy. Sure, Google’s Chromecast now supports casting directly from Android, but there’s a good chance your device isn’t supported, sadly. The real start of the show here is the ability to use an HTML5 enabled web browser with little to no hassle. That means that for those using Android devices at work, they can share looks at apps and such with whatever machine they like. For the average user though, this is the type of app that’d be great to show off photos from a recent trip or holiday and it’s pretty easy to set up as well.

Ratings

  • Speed (4/5) – With little to no lag (depending on your network) this is a good option.
  • Features (5/5) – While the Chromecast support isn’t anything special, the VNC and simple web browser mirroring are. Add that to the support of AirPlay devices and there’s a long feature list here and many, many use cases.
  • Theme (4/5) – YouMap looks okay and the user interface is nice and minimal.
  • Overall (4/5) – While having to install an app on a computer is a pain, not needing to be rooted is a nice relief and overall, the package could be of great use to a lot of different users.

Pros

  • Works with just a web browser that has support for HTML5 audio, giving you near universal sharing.
  • Easy to set up without the need to be rooted as long as you have a computer within reach.
  • Even works with AirPlay devices, itself an interesting addition.
  • Lots of different uses from the office to sharing holiday moments with friends and families.

Cons

  • Having to install a desktop app is a little bothersome, but then so is rooting your device.
  • Chromecast support might be something users already have through Google’s cast screen feature.

Overall, YouMap is an app that might not appeal to everyone, but for those that have come up against the many cross-platform barriers there are today this will be a welcome savior. It’s fairly easy to set up, it works with Chromecast, AirPlay and even web browsers giving you a wide range of possibilities to share what’s happening on your Android device. I can see this being great for demonstrations thanks to the ability to record from the mic, or even simple uses like showing off photos. A great tool that breaks down cross-platform barriers, YouMap is worth looking at.

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