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'Air Display' to Let You Use the New iPad as a HiDPI 'Retina' Display for Your Mac

Avatron, the makers of the popular Air Display app for iOS, revealed today that they will be updating their utility to fully support the 3rd Generation iPad.

Air Display allows you to use your iPad (or iPhone/iPod Touch) as an extra display for your Mac or Windows computer. This old video shows how the app works.

The iPad acts as a wireless second screen that can be used by OS X in the same manner as any other monitor.

The developers were able to get their screen-extending app working with the new iPad with good performance. But using a 2048x1536 iPad as a secondary screen computer screen would result in very small windows, text and user interface elements. So, the team has also included support for Lion's new HiDPI mode. We've covered HiDPI mode in the past. HiDPI mode allows OS X to support high resolution monitors while retaining the same relative size for user interface elements, such as windows and buttons.

HiDPI mode will let the new iPad act like a 1024x768 point screen where each point is made up of 4 pixels. Apple has already built in support for HiDPI and some of their Apps, such as Messages, already include Retina-sized artwork that work in this mode. Users simply have to choose "1024x768 (HiDPI)" mode in their System Preferences to take advantage of the new mode.

Air Display is a $9.99 Universal App in the App Store. [iTunes] The Retina-enabled version will be included in a forthcoming update.

Top Rated Comments

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42 months ago
I have Air Display, but my stupid ass didn't read the description fully and I didn't realize that my Macbook Pro isn't compatible with it. BLAH!
Rating: 6 Votes
42 months ago
Bring this to me NOW!!!:)
Rating: 5 Votes
42 months ago
I just wish they could increase the refresh rate and reduce the noticeable lag that the app has.

I would use it a lot more if it wasn't so laggy.
Will pushing more pixels to it over the air result in further lag ?
Rating: 3 Votes
42 months ago
Just what I need... a 9.5" third monitor for my Mac :p
Rating: 3 Votes
42 months ago
This is one of those apps that need to be free and have an in app purchase to activate it.

It could have a huge flashing watermark in the middle of the screen, but at least you'd know if it worked or not. If you minded the refresh rate or not.

Then, they'd probably only get good feedback.

I'd try it if it was free, but otherwise $10 for something I might not be happy with?

(And if it used USB, wouldn't that be faster than WiFi and it would charge your device at the same time?)

Rating: 3 Votes
42 months ago
Would work pretty good for Photoshop palettes, I wish you could select things on the iPad's screen using your finger instead of the cursor however.
Rating: 2 Votes
42 months ago

Now that's an app I would consider paying for. Still hate the idea of paying for something I'll probably never use, but this has some real utility to it. :p

How easy/difficult is this to set up? I see that it supports Windows as well, which is cool... although Aero and DirectX will be temporarily disabled while the app is connected... :(

I set it up in less than five minutes -- including installing the iOS app, installing the Mac app, and rebooting my MBP. When you're in the app on the iPad and the AirDisplay "server" is turned on on your Mac, your Mac recognizes the iPad as an external monitor and treats it as such.

I now have two external monitors -- one on either side of my MBP. One is a 22" and the other is a 9.7" iPad. The touch screen interface on the iPad has proven to be effective with e-mail reading/archiving when I'm at my desk; and it's nice because I can keep e-mail off my other screens and save that screen real estate.
Rating: 1 Votes
42 months ago

Just downloaded the mac client for this and my photoshop stopped working. My display would go dark then back to normal every few minuets. Anyone else run into this? I didn't even have it running just open because I don't have my iPad at work.

This is totally "normal." Unfortunately, no recourse for those of us that feel like this is unacceptable behavior:,14490

Avatron's "it's not our fault" response does not a valid solution make. I'm amazed these shysters are allowed to continue selling such a deeply flawed product.

Vote with your dollars and avoid this broken product.
Rating: 1 Votes
42 months ago

I'd be interested in such tweaks. Please do share them.

Here are le instrucciones:

It takes a bit of fiddling to get it going, and with everything running that needs to be, it can eat up a lot of battery & run pretty hot too, but it is fast and clear as any external monitor should be, and just goes to show, if Apple would either allow Avatron to enable USB connection again (they actually did offer it for a brief period before apple made them remove it) or build this functionality right into OS X like they should, USB would be the way to go. It's fast and works great.

All Apple has to do is give a damn, and their iPad could make (even) huge(r) waves.
Rating: 1 Votes
42 months ago
I use this all the time. Whenever I'm not accessing iOS my iPad is a secondary, portable touchscreen display for OSX, and it's hugely useful.

...however, wifi can barely handle the bandwidth of the 1024x768 display streaming over it. I can't imagine how it's going to cope with 4 times as many pixels. It requires a clean ad-hoc connection as it is.

Jailbroken + a jumble of tricky tweaks, you can get AirDisplay to run via the cable, and it is perfectly fast. The lag is gone and the performance is smooth and steady. If Apple would get over their impractical wireless fetish and allow Avatron access to the USB bus, this app could be the most useful app in the store. + it'd leave your net connection open to proper network traffic.

But no, instead we have another "could be awesome" with the iPad. It's selling great, sure, but Apple's still content to restrict its usefulness...
Rating: 1 Votes

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