App or no App? What's the best way to use the KLIK Boks Wireless Presentation System?
With the launch of version 2.0 firmware, the KLIK Boks CLASSIC joined the PLUS and PRO models supporting streaming users without requiring the installation of an app on their device. At the same time, we launched all-new KLIK Knkt apps for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android. So, one might reasonably ask “why would I choose one connection method over the other?” Let’s break down the advantages of both connection methods by taking a closer look at what you get and in some cases, give up.
Native Streaming Support
Since Microsoft, Apple and Google have all selected their own preferred methods for wireless screen sharing, we have enabled the KLIK Boks to work with all three. Windows uses the “Wireless Display” function that’s built on the Wi-Fi standard called Miracast™. Here's a link to more in-depth instructions from Microsoft. Android also includes Miracast support as standard, although not all devices support it (more on that later). Mac OS and iOS support Apple’s proprietary AirPlay protocol for screen mirroring.
While there are differences in how each of the implementations of these streaming services function, they have one thing in common; they are already on the device. This is a huge advantage for users who either don’t want to, or because of security settings, can’t install an app. If you show up at a meeting that has a KLIK Boks installed and you have a device running on any of these four software platforms, you can connect and start streaming in seconds.
There’s one exception however, when it comes to Android devices. Since Android feature implementation is left to the discretion of each device manufacturer, Miracast support can be spotty. Not every model of smartphone or tablet will include this feature, and there seems to be little science behind the specific model selection. The Wi-Fi Alliance maintains a list of certified devices on their website.
One more important note about sharing your screen using a KLIK Boks and the native streaming app from your preferred OS is that this method offers true screen mirroring. In other words, the stream is a copy of what's on your device's screen, regardless of which app is running or what content is active. Stream web content, video, application windows, whatever content is on the screen, without restrictions imposed by content providers or media apps.
Using the KLIK Knkt App
With the launch of firmware version 2.1 there are now KLIK Knkt apps for all four major software platforms. Whether you’re on a Mac, Windows, Android, iOS or Chrome OS device, there is now a version of the app available as a free download. Of course, you’ll need to install the app, but that’s a one-time event; once it’s installed you can connect to any KLIK Boks by just launching the app.
The first advantage you’ll gain by using the KLIK Knkt app is what we call Connection Management. Whereas with the native streaming support connections are made by clients on an ad-hoc basis, the Knkt app offers a login window that requires the user to enter a password. That might not seem like a huge advantage in a single-KLIK or small office environment, where only a handful of users need to stream content to the screen, but in larger offices, classrooms and multi-KLIK installations, it is a critical feature.
KLIK Knkt apps protect access to the KLIK Boks by requiring the user to enter a password that is visible on the standby screen of the display. This means that the user must actually be present in the room where the KLIK is connected to the display. Not only does this mechanism prevent the inadvertent connection to the wrong KLIK Boks (in multi-unit installations), it also prevents malicious access to an otherwise open system.
The second advantage to using the KLIK Knkt app appears when KLIK Boks is connected to a secure network, with device discovery disabled. Secure networks, guest networks and other network configurations often do not permit device discovery as a security and privacy measure. In those instances, a user can enter the KLIK Boks IP address (shown on the standby screen) to connect to the device. This adds an extra layer of security, because there is no other way for users to detect the presence of a KLIK Boks on the network other than being in the same room.
When using the KLIK Knkt app’s connection management all devices are connected and ready to start streaming by merely pressing Play. But sometimes, a meeting is facilitated by a moderator who would like to control who has access to the KLIK Boks and when they can start their presentation. With KLIK’s Conference Mode feature, only clients who are logged-in using the KLIK Knkt app can participate in the meeting. The moderator can even preview their screen before starting the session.
The desktop versions of the Knkt apps also include on-screen Annotation and Whiteboard functionality for truly interactive collaboration. Users can select from lines, text, shapes and colors to annotate right over the screen contents, then save, print and share the results. A whiteboard mode allows for freehand sketching or drawing by temporarily suspending the streamed content.
Choose one, or choose both…
Every application is different and that’s why we made KLIK adaptable to your particular needs. If you host a variety of clients who aren’t likely to install an app, then choose Native Streaming mode. If on the other hand, you want a more secure and better-controlled user experience, look to the Knkt apps. By default the KLIK Boks comes enabled for use by both methods but both AirPlay and Miracast support can be individually switched off by a system administrator.
Copyright KLIK Communications Inc. 2018 - All rights reserved. No portion of this article may be reused without written approval.