The iPad is quite an amazing device. It’s 9.7″ screen gives you enough real estate to do many functions you’d do on a typical computer. I use my iPad all the time for email, web browsing, listening to music and so on. However, there’s another use for the iPad that an amazing piece of software called Air Display makes possible: as a second monitor.
Ever want to have a second monitor, whether it’s for a web window or to push your email off to the side while you go full screen on a spreadsheet? Air Display from Avatron Software can help.
To get going, download the Air Display client for your computer. There are Windows and Mac versions available at Avatron.com. Next, grab the app for the iPad in the App Store – it will set you back $9.99 which is cheap considering the utility it unlocks.
For Air Display to work between a computer and iPad, both devices must be on the same wireless network. If for some reason this isn’t possible, you can set up your computer to host an ad-hoc network (more of an advanced move.)
Once you turn Air Display on your computer’s settings panel, launch Air Display on the iPad and you’ll see the iPad screen refresh, showing the background image of your computer. You can then drag windows to the right and they’ll appear on the iPad.
Once you’ve got windows from your computer showing up on the iPad, you’ll notice a few things. First, image quality is quite good for windows on the iPad. However, videos don’t play well, because of the lag of having to have all that data travel over the network – frames drop regularly.
A beautiful thing about Air Display is the ability users have to interact with windows with your finger while they exist on your iPad. So, if you have a calculator open, you can enter in digits and use the app, just like it was on your normal computer display.
Actual Usage Scenarios
What would Air Display practically be used for? If your typing a Word document or creating a PowerPoint presentation, using Air Display on the iPad is obviously not a good choice for this type of app.
However, Air Display is perfect for those “accessory” applications on your desktop such as IM windows, Twitter applications, music controls or Photoshop toolbars for the designers out there. Also, if you want to make a presentation to a single person or small group, you could push the presentation to your iPad for their own personal viewing
Air Display from Avatron Software is an amazing application that pushes the boundaries of your iPad, adding some great utility to it that you’ll want to have on hand. For $10, this application is a great value for the options it provides an iPad owner.