Want A Retina Display Mac? Air Display Is Adding HiDPI Support For New iPads

Want A Retina Display Mac? Air Display Is Adding HiDPI Support For New iPads

Air Display for iPad will soon give you a small taste of future Retina Display Macs to come.

Do you use your iPad as a second monitor using Air Display to wirelessly extend your desktop? If so, bet you wish you could harness your new iPad’s retina display, don’t you? Unfortunately, the functionality currently isn’t baked into Air Display, but that’ll soon change… and for the first time let millions of OS X users experiment with the hidden HiDPI mode in Lion and Mountain Lion.

What’s HiDPI? Essentially, it’s built-in support for high-resolution displays in OS X that can be enabled with a secret setting. It’s basically the kernel of support for future Retina Display Macs.

With Air Display’s next update — currently pending Approval with Apple — you will be able to use your iPad to experience HiDPI on your Mac. What’s so cool about this is that this is the first time most people will ever be able to experience what a Retina Display Mac will be like, since the new iPad is the first affordable, widely-available consumer display capable of taking advantage of HiDPI.

Until Apple approves Air Display’s update, though, we’ll have to wait. In the meantime, if you’d like to play around with Air Display in its lower-res glory, you can download the app for $9.99 here.

  • joewaylo

    Is there a way to flip it around, and use iPad on your Mac’s display? I tried “Airplay for Mac” and it’s not compatible with my Mac Mini second gen. Or I’m doing something wrong and I can’t get audio nor visual to work.

  • crateish

    Doesn’t work for these models: The following Mac models are still incompatible with Lion:

    - MacBook Pro (15″ late 2008 and mid 2009, 17″ early and mid 2009)

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John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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