Overviewer, New iPhone app for Document Sharing on Zoom

Overviewer app
Source: theverge.com

If you’re an instructor or teacher, who is having a hard time with zoom for showing their documents to students. Then, there is a new app Overviewer especially designed for that purpose only. Overviewer app turns your iPhone camera into an overhead document viewer. Thus Making your Zoom sessions much smoother.

Overviewer App was developed by Charlie Chapman. Normally schools and colleges use overhead projectors, If they don’t have these overhead devices then they use webcams. By pointing them straight down allows teachers to show their students a document, book, and other pieces of images.

The problem with this is many teachers are working from home, where they may or may not have these webcams. In that case, the Overviewer app is the best option.

Here are some interesting details about Overviewer

How the Overviewer app works

Overviewer is a simple app and it takes advantage of Zoom’s built-in feature which is screen sharing. This feature works when you connect a computer to the iPhone through a lightning cable or wirelessly through AirPlay. This feature is not available for Android users yet.

The app shows a feed on the screen from your phone’s camera. It has the ability to turn on your phone’s flashlight if the lighting isn’t enough. Along with that, you can choose between 2 cameras which camera should be displayed.

This app is perfectly compatible with Zoom and other video conferencing apps. Offers friction less functionality and easy to operate.

The issue with iPhone screen sharing without the Overviewer app

Zoom has a wonderful feature where you can do screen sharing with your Iphone’s camera by plugging it into your laptop with a lightning cable or wirelessly with Airplay.

However, there are mainly two problems you will be facing this

1.There are a bunch of buttons and chrome around the camera view so it looks very old fashioned.

2.The phone camera doesn’t actually rotate when you turn it sideways.
As a result, you can share the camera in portrait mode only which means huge black bars on each side of the Zoom call with very little space for tiny video streaming space.

Both of these problems will get rectified with this Overviewer app. It offers high functional rotating operations and better user-friendly features.

In a Blogpost, Charlie Chapman shared why he developed this Overviewer app

Charlie Chapman developed this app to help his wife. She is a kindergarten teacher. When work from home started due to Covid, She had to figure out how to teach kindergarten students how to draw letters over zoom.

Initially, she managed it by using her iPhone and the default camera app for showing documents. But she was a little bit frustrated with the lack of landscape feature and no. of buttons overlaid on the screen.

She also faced the same problems that we listed above with the screen. Then Charlie developed an IOS app which is an Overviewer. It is built in such a way that it shows what the phone camera sees with no chrome. Along with that, it gives large screen streaming space which is landscape mode.

Initially, she used it and pointed out some other lacking options. Over time he added features like a flashlight for extra lightning and introducing some proper rotation options.

As a final result, the Overviewer app was developed which gives a much smoother video conferencing experience.

Who is it for

Charlie may have developed this to help his wife and he adds that this may be useful for other teachers out there. It is available for free in the store which can be a perfect and very common use for teachers, especially in our virtual teaching world.

He also made a video tutorial in his youtube channel Charlie Chapman projects to show how it works. It shows the Overviewer app with Zoom applications but the same steps can be used for all other video conferencing platforms.

An important thing to note is that if you’re using Mac, Zoom will first ask for permission to record your screen. After that, it has to be restarted for sharing your home screen. Because zoom is just displaying your iPhone screen on the computer, and then capturing that window.

Before Overviewer, Document scanners are used for Document sharing:

Document scanner uses a mounted webcam pointed straight down on a desk. Which can project top-down video of anything the presenter wants to show on their desk.

Simply a document scanner converts a document from its paper form into digital data. They are very effective document management devices. Saving time for storing digital information through hard disks and cloud storage. They are mainly two different types of Scanners portable and desktop document scanners. Both are hard to use while teaching students through video conferencing. Especially in this time of work from home.

Teachers use these scanners in the place of overhead projectors while teaching. If you don’t have any plans for using this. The Overviewer app is the best option for you to enhance your Virtual teaching experience.


If you’re a teacher and using an iPhone then Overviewer is the best app for enhancing your video conferencing experience. It makes document sharing smoother and hassle-free. Moreover, it is a free IOS app available in the Apple store.