Air Display is a iPad app that allows you utilize the iPad as a external monitor. With a price tag of only $9.99 in the iTunes app store, it is far cheaper than any Apple monitor ever made. I have been playing with the Air Display app for a few days now. All and all I think its pretty rad, but it does come with its own set of pros and cons.
Recently I started working at an awesome co-working space in downtown Atlanta called Strong Box West. If you are a local reader, let me know and we can do lunch. I’ll Have my people call your people. As a result of working away from my home setup, I’m having to work from my 13in MacBook.
Working from the MacBook is ok on days that Im just blogging and browsing the web, but on days I need to design and do some real work, it’s a bit of a pain. Having to go back and forth between IM clients, Photoshop, and email is cumbersome at best. Even with the use of keyboard shortcuts and spaces, it is still a bit of a hassle.
This is why I decided to try the Air Display app. Having a second monitor, if only to fill with email and chats, makes a world of difference in my productivity.
How It Works
The Air Display app uses Bluetooth technology to wirelessly connect your iPad to your computer. You will need to first install a small server app on your main computer before the app will work. Once you have purchased Air Display it will walk you through the setup process, which is very simple.
After you get the app setup and running, you can manage your displays through the display settings on your Mac as if it were a dedicated second monitor. You can mirror your display or set it up as an extended display.
One interesting thing about the Air Display is that even as dual monitor it can still utilize a touch interface for clicking around.
[sws_yellow_box box_size="700"] While there is a touch interface on the iPad, the keyboard will not be available for use. [/sws_yellow_box]
The Air Display certainly does what it advertises to do and does it well. That said, it is a tad buggy and could never really replace a dedicated monitor. The Air Display is a bit sluggish and sometimes randomly refreshes both displays. Those two bugs are really the only drawbacks I can see.
As I said, the Air Display is perfect for use with laptops to give you a bit more screen real estate and improve your productivity.