I saw a mention of Air Display on Twitter a few days ago and the 140 character tweet caught my attention. I quick trip to the developers website got me excited for the app, which at the time, was under review in the AppStore. Needless to say, the ability to use the iPad as a little companion screen to my 15 inch MacBook Pro peaked my interest.
So I was quite excited today when I found that Air Display was available in the AppStore. The price seemed a bit high at $9.99, but oh well, I just had to test it out.
Once you download Air Display from the AppStore and have it installed on your iPad, you are given a few more instructions on how to set up the app to work with your Mac upon first launching the app.
First step is to download and run the installer for companion Air Display for the Mac. The Mac app is free (thank goodness it wasn’t another $9.99).
Once you have Air Display installed on your Mac you are pretty much good to go. You should now see a new Air Display icon in the Mac menu bar. To set up your iPad as a second display, you launch Air Display on the iPad and then select your iPad from the Air Display icon on the Mac menu bar. You can set up the iPad to mirror your display or to act as an extension to your current Mac display. I configured Air Display to be used as the latter. All that is required, other than the two apps isntalled on your iPad and Mac, is a Wi-Fi network connection and both your iPad and Mac have to be using the same Wi-Fi network in order for the dual display feature to work.
Set up was easy. However, getting the app to work, initially felt a bit buggy. I had selected my iPad from the Air Display menu on my Mac and waited for both screens to turn blue and then see the second additional display. Nothing. The iPad didn’t even initially appear in the Displays preference. After a minute (or two) of fiddling around, it eventually worked. However, I did notice that the display connection did get lost a few times.
Once you have the iPad up and running as a second display, you can drag windows, icons, and even application specific palettes on to your new second display. And even cooler, you can take advantage of the iPad’s touch screen for items that are on your iPad display.
Air Display is definitely a pretty cool app, conceptually. There are obviously a few bugs that need to be worked out to provide more stability. For me, it didn’t “just’ work. I did have to fiddle around a bit, selecting and then reselecting my iPad on my Mac. However, when it did work, it was awesome.
Company: Avatron Software, Inc.
Buy Air Display from the App Store.