The app that almost never happened

Screens ExpressScreens Express could almost be considered an accident. A long-time requested feature from our Screens users has been the possibility to share a screen with another user.

That was somewhat possible with Screens Connect 1.0, which used nicknames instead of a Screens ID and password, like version 2.0 and onward does.

Screens Connect 1.0

While nicknames could be shared with others, you would still need the user credentials on the Mac you wanted to connect to, which is far from optimal and not very secure.

Screens Connect .30

We knew that relying on actual accounts would be better and more secure in the long run but also knew that for some users the nicknames were very useful.

Screens 3.5 for iOS now allows you to share the screen of a Mac with another user without having to share your username and more importantly, your password. This is possible through the OS X built-in Screen Sharing service. The Remote Management service also offers this possibility.


That feature was intended for users that have more than one user configured on their Mac but it turns out this is also available to guest users!


This discovery came pretty late during the development of Screens. However, this brought and interesting solution to our previous problem: how to grant access to your Mac remotely without having to give away your password?

This is how Screens Express came to life. This free utility makes your Mac accessible outside of a local network to anyone you wish to give it access to. Simple as that!

Another advantage of Screens Express is that you stay in total control. You have to grant permission to anyone requesting to share your screen and you can close the connection or invalidate your sharable link anytime you wish. Moreover, that link turns invalid as soon as you close Screens Express and needs the app to run in order to work.


Screens Express is dead easy to operate. Download the app, run it, share your unique, sharable link to someone that uses Screens, grant permission to share your screen and that’s it!


Which one should I use? Screens Connect or Express?

If you wish to access your Mac (or Windows PC) from anywhere at any given moment, choose Screens Connect.

If you wish to let someone access your Mac temporarily and on sporadic occasions, then choose Screens Express.

In short: Screens Connect is a truck while Screens Express is a car.1

Is Screens for Mac supported?

Currently, Screens Express only works with Screens for iOS but we already have a beta of its Mac counterpart working with the utility app. Our plan is to release Screens 3.6 for Mac in October, when OS X 10.10 Yosemite is released by Apple.

You’ll find more information about Screens Express on the instructions page.

Screens and iPhone 6 Plus

Just a quick note about Screens running on iPhone 6 Plus. Some of you may have already noticed the embarrassing bug where a placeholder screenshot is visible when you launch the app.

You may also have noticed that Screens may act in a weird way when you use your iPhone 6 Plus in landscape.

We’ve submitted version 3.5.1, which fixes both issues… well almost. In our next blog post, we’ll talk more about what we have in mind for Screens and iPhone 6 Plus.

1 To paraphrase Steve Jobs.