'Air Display' Updated to Support HiDPI OS X Mode on New iPad
With the new iPad's Retina display running at 2048x1536, Air Display would be able to display a relatively large OS X desktop, but at very small size. But Avatron has been working to make Air Display compatible with the high-resolution "HiDPI" mode that has been quietly built into OS X. Apple has kept the HiDPI feature hidden by default due to an absence of any Macs with ultra high-resolution "Retina" displays that could use it to significant effect.
Settings for Retina and HiDPI modes in Air Display Connect computer-side app for OS X (Source: MacStories)
The updated version of Air Display is now available [App Store, $9.99], allowing users to set the new iPad as a 1024x768 HiDPI display, taking advantage of the device's Retina display to display the high-resolution elements and text present in OS X Lion.
If you have Mac OS X Lion and a Retina iOS device, now you can turn on "HiDPI mode." HiDPI is a built-in Mac OS X feature that makes UI elements render at double resolution. It's absolutely stunning on a Retina display. By default, Mac OS X disables HiDPI because until now, there has been no Mac display with high enough resolution. Air Display on a new iPad, with its 2048x1536 264-dpi Retina display, finally brings HiDPI to life.
MacStories has some hands-on reports with the new version of Air Display, noting that the feature works very well without significant lag or compression visible when windows are still. When moving windows around the desktop, resolution is degraded as the app works to keep up with the on-screen movements, but for viewing relatively static content the app delivers "incredible image quality".
Air Display is compatible with most Macs running Mac OS X Snow Leopard or later. Notably, late 2008/mid-2009 15-inch MacBook Pro models and early 2009/mid-2009 17-inch MacBook Pro models are not compatible with the Air Display Connect computer-side application when running OS X Lion.
As we also noted last month, Apple's work on HiDPI mode is becoming more visible in OS X Mountain Lion, with the beta version of Messages available for OS X Lion showing some of the fruits of that labor to the public.