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How to use your New iPad as a second display for your Mac

Wil Limoges describes a handy app that allows you to mirror your Mac display on your iPad or other iOS device.

If you have The New iPad then certainly by now you’ve fallen in love with that densely packed screen. It’s absolutely gorgeous and what better way to take advantage of all those pixels than to use it as a secondary display for your Mac or PC? That’s what I’ve been doing, and though the experience isn’t perfect, it definitely is gratifying to see my MacBook sharing a desktop wirelessly with my multipurpose iPad. Unfortunately the feature isn’t built in to iOS or OS X — at least not yet — but with a handy little App for iOS called Air Display you can expand or even mirror your desktop with the greatest of ease.

Air Display is available on the App store for $9.99. Simply download it to your iPad, iPod Touch, or iPhone then head over to avatron.com to download the companion app for OS X. Once installed, a new icon will appear in the menu bar of your Mac. From here you can turn the Air Display service on, which acts as the conduit between your iOS device and Mac. You can also enable settings such as Turn Air Display On or Off, Auto Connect, Select The Device You Would Like To Share Your Display With, and Access Preference. After installing Air Display on the iOS device you wish to use as a second display, you will then be able to access the device from the drop-down menu on your Mac. Selecting the iOS device from the list will initiate the connection wirelessly, and just like that, your iPad transforms into a fully functioning second display for your Mac. Additionally you can control your Mac using the touch screen of your iOS device allowing you to take your Mac with you around the house or office. I highly recommend you check out this App. It’s been recently updated to support the Retina display of The New iPad and has become a great asset to my box of Apple tools.

About

Wil Limoges is a Louisville, KY freelance web designer and Digital Savant at the vimarc group. He has had the pleasure of working for Apple as a Genius, loves science, and aspires to make great things!

9 comments
Gisabun
Gisabun

I can't see any major reeasons why you'd want a 10" display as a secondary screen. Spend the $150 and get yourself a good 24" one.

Porterhaus
Porterhaus

There are numerous apps in the app store that do this, this is nothing new. Many apps such as Logmein and Jump Desktop allow you to connect your iPad to Apple and PC systems.

bkmoody1
bkmoody1

Does this only work with apple to apple? I would love to use my IPad as a second screen/ control for say a power point running on my Win 7 PC. Any thoughts? besides the obvious ...buy an apple laptop :/

konfuzed
konfuzed

Hope you got a nice paycheck for the advertorial. Another fine TR display of journalism.

nemotode
nemotode

I find DisplayPad works well. I have a 24" Dell screen and my MacBookPro 17" screen for OSX apps, then I can use the iPad to display Windows 7 under VMWare. screen is a bit grainy but I only do it to get the "what the ...." responses in the office.

r.frost
r.frost

Important note about Air Display on Lion The Air Display host software runs well on Lion, except for Mac models with dual NVIDIA GeForce 9400M & 9600M video adapter. The Air Display driver is incompatible with these specific machines. Affected Mac models include: 15" MacBook Pro (late 2008 and mid 2009) 17" MacBook Pro (early and mid 2009).

netmanco
netmanco

How does it compare with Reflection? Or any other app.

danbi
danbi

It seems that DisplayPad is not updated from one year ago. Does it support the new iPad Retina Display?