Mini Display review: Use your iPhone or iPad as a 2nd display for your Mac.

Mini Display is a new app by Edovia that converts your iPhone or iPad into a second display for your Mac. Need extra screen space for your Twitter client or a place for your Photoshop palettes? Then Mini Display may be the perfect solution.

To use Mini Display, you must first download the Mini Display Connect client onto your Mac and enable Screen Sharing in your Mac's preferences.

Once your Mac is ready to go, you're all set to connect with your iPhone and iPad. Simply login with your Mac's credentials, choose if you want to restore windows, and if you're using a Retina iPad, decide if you want high resolution and less space, or low resolution and more space. You can also choose to leave the password field blank so that you are required to enter your password every time you use the app. Edovia also makes Screens VNC, so they know how to handle iOS device to Mac interactivity, and it shows.

Once you connect, you've got a second display for your Mac! Its default location is to the right of your Mac's display, but you can change it in the Display settings in System Preferences on your Mac. You can also interact with windows on the screen with gestures, using a three finger swipe to bring up the iOS keyboard, for example, and logout by simply pinching to zoom out.

The good

  • Easy setup and use
  • Can be used in both portrait and landscape orientations
  • Use your iPad's Retina display to create an ultra-crisp external screen
  • Restores windows you place in it.
  • Use your device keyboard and touch gestures
  • Option to prompt you with your password when you connect to your Mac

The bad

  • Display refresh can lag

The bottom line

Mini Display is a really great companion to any Mac, especially 11" and 13" MacBook Pros that have limited screen real estate. Unfortunately, it doesn't run perfectly smooth and the lag is bit annoying, but if you choose to use Mini Display for things like a Twitter feed, to-do list, email client, or anything else that you aren't constantly interacting with, then you'll find it to be a great asset. And it's much cheaper than buying second monitor.

Leanna Lofte

App and Photography Editor at iMore. Mother, wife, and math instructor. Follow her on Twitter @llofte and send her apps to consider for review at

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There are 14 comments. Add yours.

Easy-G says:

"Unfortunately, it doesn't run perfectly smooth and the lag is bit annoying, but if you choose to use Mini Display for things like a Twitter feed, to-do list, email client, or anything else that you aren't constantly interacting with, then you'll find it to be a great asset."

Or just run a lag-free Twitter client, to-do list app, or email client on the iPad and save yourself $13.

R1cki97 says:

Is it available only for macs?

PassOutPete says:

I was happy to see this article. I have long since been interested in trying to turn my iPad into a secondary screen for my MacBook. But everywhere that I look, I yield nothing.

To me, the one and only con of screen lag may in fact 86 this app for me. Do you know of any other applications that have a fluid like feel to them? Something similar to Apple TVs air display, but for a Mac/iPad?

I know that there has to be something out there somewhere that can and will do exactly what I want. It's just a matter of finding it and executing! But nevertheless, thanks for another wonderful review. It really did shed some much needed light on something that has boggled me.

kevinbhayes says:

How does this compare to AirDisplay?

PassOutPete says:

Thats what I want to know, too. I've been looking and looking but find no comparisons anywhere. I'd be nice to know something before I drop 13 bucks, ya know.

Gaudenz Alder says:

Comparing Air Display and Mini Display: Air Display has better touch support, only one mouse pointer across the screens, and is slightly faster and more stable. Mini Display uses screen sharing, is simpler to setup and uses less CPU. HTH

czhDavid says:

Apps like that have been here for a long time... and usualy sucked

PassOutPete says:

Well, is there a decent one available? Maybe even a wired version???

rj5570 says:

too bad, I really would like a good solution for this. I have no patience for a lag, so I will not be trying this. Wish you could use airplay to add an iPad as another monitor.

UnrealExpectations says:

It's nothing new, it's just sad because of the asking price of something that so irrelevant, how about just go purchase another monitor? ™

shinuyuki says:

Does this stream, or is it simply a frozen image that you have to refresh?

asuperstarr says:

This is a cool app. I guess this was definitely work for my MacBook Air, when I need additional space. Great review!

DarshOne says:

i use airdisplay, i believe it was like 10$ but its dope!

Abul Kalam says:

I hope we could buy latest monitors to upgrade the color quality as well as working conditions, some extra gadgets will be more helpful and I hope here could help us to evaluate and buy from the blue.