Screen sharing apps can be really handy for getting remote assistance by letting someone else control your computer remotely, or simply showing others something you’re doing on your computer while staying in control yourself. Screenhero is a Mac app (with a Windows client still under development) that allows you to share your screen with anyone who has a Screenhero account, while adding a handy feature to the mix. You retain control of your Mac while the person you share your screen with can also control your system if you choose. It might sound confusing to work with, as you will have two cursors moving around on your screen, but Screenhero makes it easy to distinguish the two by adding the name of the user to their cursor. The app allows you to share your entire screen or just a single app’s window. It also features a built-in chat client and you can switch to sharing an app’s window during a live session.
Both you and whoever you want to share your screen with will need to have the app installed and a Screenhero account. Once you’ve created your account, sign in to Screenhero and add the person you want to share with as a friend. You only need to enter their email address to send them the request, which must be approved by them.
To start sharing your screen, click the screen share button that appears next to an online friend’s name and select what you want to share, i.e., a single window or the entire screen. This will send them a sharing request from you. You can also send them an instant message using the speech bubble button next to the screen sharing button.
Sharing will not begin until your friend accepts the request to share your screen. On the recipient’s side, your screen will appear in Screenhero’s own window. A smaller window will appear on both sides allowing you send an IM, share an app’s window, and end the sharing session.
To share a particular app’s window from your side, click the screen button on the floating Screenhero window. It will detect active app windows (minimized app windows are not detected) and prompt you for the one you want to share. We tested app sharing with Shade running. Shade acts as a curtain to hide all desktop icons and when selected to share, Screenhero highlighted Shade’s entire interface. If you share your whole screen, its edges will have a small blue glow to them. From this same share screen menu, you can stop sharing either an app window or the screen. The ‘End’ button ends the entire session.
Once you’re sharing your screen, you will notice that there are two cursors appearing on it. Each cursor has a small name bubble to show who it belongs to. When one cursor user is performing an action on the shared screen, the other user’s cursor appears to be lighter in appearance and has a stop symbol. This makes it easier to distinguish who is making a change.
Performance wise, Screenhero was pretty impressive in our testing, but you might experience better or worse quality depending on your connection speed. Screenhero can be set to start at log in. The app is currently in Beta but working exceptionally well. It is likely that it will cost you to use this app once it’s out of beta, and we only hope the price tag isn’t too high. As mentioned, a Windows client is still under development and you can sign up to know when it goes live. Channel.me is a similar web service that you can use while you wait for the Windows variant of Screenhero Windows to be released.