Looking for an interesting and unique way to use all of that iPad screen real-estate? Well, here it is! Air Display allows you to extend your Mac screen onto your iPad via a wifi connection. So, say you’re on the go and need a little more screen for your Photoshop tools or some widgets, just launch air display on your iPad and launch the app on your computer.
Air Display works surprisingly well allowing you to share or extend your computer screen onto your iPad. With the iPads high resolution screen (1024×768) you can actually get some decent desktop real-estate from the iPad. Connection is done via wifi or over adhoc if no wifi access is available.
To get Air Display working you must install the Mac app (free download) on your Mac based computer. I’m currently using it on a Macbook Pro without issues. There is a version of the support app for OSX 10.5 or OSX 10.6. Sorry, no Windows support and it’s unclear if Windows support is coming.
Once you have the necessary software installed simply launch Air Display on your device and click the icon on your task bar on your Mac. Use the settings app to make necessary adjustments to your monitor configurations, including your now 10″ iPad display as a monitor.
We are currently testing on version 1.6 of Air Display. Earlier versions were a bit laggy and while 1.6 still has noticeable lag it is better. While the app does work to extend your desktop it’s not capable of fast refreshes. This isn’t an actual monitor with a wired connection so don’t expect to do video or anything like that. However, for widgets or pics or non-screen intensive content it does work well with.
The real question here is if this app has real world, practical uses that would make the relatively steep cost of the app worth it. I’d urge you to weigh your uses and need for such an app and using your iPad as a second monitor. Having said that, the app is fun to use and if you’re a techie then you can appreciate this app much more. Recommended to the techies that want to use their iPad in new and different ways.
What we liked: extending Mac screen is kinda cool, easy setup and use (it just worked).
What we didn’t like: steep cost, limited usefulness on iPhone given such a small screen.