I find my cinema display offers plenty of screen real estate for the things I do everyday, and with my MacBook Pro hooked up, having two displays is a real benefit. It’s nice to have the ability to browse through one document whilst typing up another on a separate screen, or have easy access to my music library or my Twitter feed without having to move or minimize the application I’m working on.
However, I don’t always want to be sat at my desk. I often like to get stuff done from the sofa when I’m feeling a bit lazy, or from the garden on a nice day. Now I can have two displays wherever I’m working thanks to Air Display from Avatron Software on my iPad.
Air Display allows you to connect your iPad via WiFi to your notebook or desktop and use it as an additional display. It’s incredibly easy to set up – once you’ve installed the app on your iPad, you can load it up and you will be given a link to the accompanying support software you’ll need for your Mac.
Once that’s downloaded, installed and you’ve restarted your Mac, simply click on the Air Display icon that will appear in your task bar and you should have the option to connect to your iPad. As soon as you’re connected, your display will be extended on to your iPad. You can then use the Displays option within System Preferences to change the arrangement of your displays, just like you would with your cinema display or other monitor. You can also switch your iPad from portrait to landscape mode, or vice versa, and Air Display will automatically adjust.
For someone who’s now used to two displays, I find working away from my desk a great deal easier with Air Display and I now miss my cinema display half as much when I’m not at my desk.
The best thing about Air Display, and the most impressive thing for me, is that whatever you have displayed on your iPad, you can interact with via touch input. That’s right – Air Display adds touchscreen functionality to the software you use on your Mac.
For instance, by dragging the built-in calculator app on OS X over to your iPad, you’ll have constant access to a touchscreen calculator, just like that on the iPhone. You can also use the iPad as a drawing tablet with your favorite painting app.
I’ve found Air Display to be so useful that even when I am at my desk, I’ll connect my iPad to use as a third display. It makes controlling iTunes much quicker, and when I’m using software like Microsoft Word, it’s the perfect place to drag all my palettes for quick access.
With Air Display, I very rarely get a slow display unless I try to watch a movie – unfortunately it’s not quite capable of that yet, although I’m not sure an app of this type would ever be fast enough for such a task. I’m yet to have any major issues with Air Display and I find it’s well worth the $9.99 price tag.
Air Display is currently only compatible with a Mac, however you can sign up via the Avatron website to be notified when the Windows support software becomes available.
You can find Air Display in the App Store here.