Remotely control device with a broken screen

A few viewers asked me to show how you can remotely control the desktop of your Android phone or tablet from a computer.

It’s not hard to do if you have a Samsung device. Many Samsung models have out-of-the-box support for Teamviewer. As the Teamviewer service server works as the man in the middle to handle the connection, it can be made even when you sit behind NATs, firewalls and shit like that. I already told about Teamviewer, so check out that video for details. What I would like to add is that it seems now Teamviewer supports all Android devices, not just by Samsung, so it’s definitely worth giving a shot. I suspect it requires root, so be sure your device is rooted. The next thing recommended for non-rooted devices is Airdroid. Unfortunately, that’s bullshit. While Airdroid allows you to read messages and install software, the device must be rooted if you want to see the desktop. So grant root permissions. Airdroid can be accessed through a webbrowser – just enter the address shown on your device screen. Easy. So if you are rooted, you may want to use the best way to control any desktop remotely – VNC server, and there is a version for all operating systems, Android included. droid VNC is the most often recommended app, but I prefer VNC server. Both are free and available in Playstore. Now you’ve got to have both your computer and your Android device in the same network. It can be done via USB with the help of ADB utility from Android Developer SDK, or through Internet by establishing a VPN connection. However, if you are familiar with SDK or able to configure a VPN server of your own, you are probably not watching this video in the first place. So if you are just a user, just connect your computer and Android device to the same network. If your are at home and the mobile device is connected to your home WiFi access point, you’re probably all set already. Install the VNC server, run it, grant root permissions and enable the server. Now we need a VNC client. There are dozens of them for every operating system you know and those you never heard of, personally, I use TightVNC for Windows. Run the client, enter the address shown on your android device and the connection port after a column. And don’t tell me this is too hard for you! If I managed to do that on my device with broken screen I couldn’t see a damn thing on, you can do it as well! I had to get out my personal data and erase everything kinky before giving the device in for repairs! Now you can control your Android device from the computer. It’s not really fast or convenient, and not everything always works like the keyboard, but still usable. Homophone users should be ecstatic by the fabulous news that VNC server is available for Apple mobile devices. But it only works on rooted, that is jailbroken iPhones, iPods, iPads and all the rest iShit. I think there are more ways to install unlicensed software on Apple devices through sideload and some proxy servers, but I have no need let alone desire to explore that field. You have to install VNC server which is available in Cydia, run it, understand which port it responds to. Then take that VNC client I showed above and repeat the process, using the iPhone IP and the standard port, 5901. As for Android, there are other options. Webkey is a mix between AirDroid and VNC – this is basically a VNC server that could be accessed via a browser. Root is required. You’d better keep one of these installed and ready, so that when you damage the screen you could at least connect to it. However, these apps are battery hogs, so I doubt you will have them running all the time. The last option is for those with a totally damaged screen, but you have the USB Debugging on in the Settings. It doesn’t work on all Android devices, but still. Install Java and AndroidScreenCast on the PC. Now connect the device with a USB cable, and run the program on the PC. If USB debugging is on, you will see your Android device inside the program. This is really slow, as basically the app just makes screenshots on the Android device and sends them to your PC as screencaps. But very often, is the only option left. Use it to install and configure one of the faster solutions, like VNC or AirDroid. A similar feature is included in beta versions of Google Chrome browser for Android and developer testing versions of Google Chrome for desktop. Enable a couple flags in Chrome on your desktop, then having USB Debugging enabled, run Chrome on the device and open any page. Click a few buttons in the browsers, and you will have Android screencast on your computer. As of now, this feature is geared to assist webmasters in developing cross-platform websites, so it’s not clear if this remote control feature will ever appear in release versions. And you definitely cannot run that with a broken screen. Also, don’t forget that many devices have HDMI video-out and USB host. Even if both the screen and the touchpanel is broken, you can still connect such device to a TV or monitor, hook up a USB keyboard and mouse, and use it similar to a desktop computer.

1 thought on “Remotely control device with a broken screen”

  1. Using apps like R-HUB remote support servers, one can remotely control the desktop of Android phone or tablet from a computer. Android mobile clients can show a web browser, photos and Dropbox files. In addition, Android 5.x and newer can show the entire screen.

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