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This week I am taking a look at Air Display by Avatron Software. You may have heard of Avatron as they make the great Air Sharing apps for iPhone and iPad. This app works like an external display for your Mac desktop or laptop (good news PC owners, it will work on a PC soon!).
To get started, you need to download the desktop app from Avatron's website. The desktop app works like a display driver for an external monitor. Once installed, you will need to pair your iPad and Mac together. You can set the Air Display app to appear in the Apple menu bar across the top of the screen for easy access.
Once activated, open the app on the iPad. You get the typical background wallpaper that you have set for your external monitors. If you choose, you can even change the wallpaper for the iPad when displaying as a monitor. One of the first things I recommend doing is going into your Apple System Preferences and arranging the iPad monitor the way you want. Right side, left side, etc. I also took the extra effort to have the iPad's placement reflect proper placement on the Monitor Arrangement screen too. This way when you drag your cursor to the iPad, it represents its real-time location. One more thing when it comes to monitor setup on the Mac, if you use Spaces, the iPad shows up as an individual display on each separate space- nice.
Once configured, using Air Display is a breeze; drag content to the iPad and release, it's that simple. Due to the iPad's size, apps that are best used on the display are things like iChat, Skype, etc. Also, since the monitor is projected via Wi-Fi, the monitor refresh is poor. So, as you move windows or objects around, they tend to be a little jerky. I would not use this monitor for anything that involves animation for this reason.
If you find your desktop just isn't big enough and using Spaces on your Mac can't get the job done, Air Display is an excellent way to use your iPad when it is just chillin' next to your Mac.
[$9.99- iTunes Link]
- Excellent external mini-monitor
- Great for Chats or Skype
- Shows as an additional monitor in Spaces on the Mac
- Works as advertised
- Movement is slow and jerky
- Can't use effectively for anything that requires animation
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