'Air Display' Updated to Support HiDPI OS X Mode on New iPad

Last month, we noted that Avatron had announced forthcoming support for the new iPad in its Air Display software that allows users to add an iOS device as a wireless external monitor for their Mac.

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.

Related Roundup: iPad
Buyer's Guide: iPad (Neutral)

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
109 months ago

It may make more sense to use an external Display ($100.00) than to waste your iPad's display acting as an external monitor.


Care to link me to a $100 monitor with 2048×1536 resolution...?
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
109 months ago

Why use an $800 device to do the work of a $100 device??? That's just plain stupid, don't you think? It would be a waste of an iPad's processor to use it as a plain display. And on top of that, laggy.

----------



You could convert those diagrams to PDF, then view them on the iPad while programming, plus you could be making annotations of all kinds to it.

I would recommend the GoodReader App for this purpose. It's the most complete and stable of them all.

Combine it with Dropbox for synchronization, and you've got yourself a complete solution.


----------



Here's a better solution: http://www.startech.com/usb-video-adapters

For portability, I agree with you.

But as I said before I wouldn't be using an $800 device to do the job of a $100 device. It's like buying a monster truck to deliver pizza in Brooklyn.

I would rather use the iPad as a second computer in my configuration, and take advantage of it this way.
I currently do Email, Skype, and other tasks on the iPad while working on my main Mac in multi-monitor mode.


Wow, so ignorant when not considering other peoples uses.

$800 why, try $499 plus $10.

Why deal with annotating a PDF in iOS when you can do it on your Mac without moving your fingers off your keyboard.

Why you keep complaining about a $10 software that some people have uses for, but obviously not you. Considering the target market already purchased an iPad, $10 more for bringing more uses to an iPad is obvious, your complaints are really silly.

Sorry I can't fit a 20" external display and USB adaptor in my small bag that fits my 13" MBA and iPad..

I own the app and occasionally use it because of my current setup, but the times I do/did was well worth over $100 in every instance.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
109 months ago

It may make more sense to use an external Display ($100.00) than to waste your iPad's display acting as an external monitor.


On the new Air's you can only have one external display, this makes an easy and cheap way to add a tertiary monitor if you already own an iPad.

Also with the Air you have an awesome portable dual screen setup.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
109 months ago

It may make more sense to use an external Display ($100.00) than to waste your iPad's display acting as an external monitor.


If it worked well I could make use of it. Plenty of us already have an external display, this could be an additional.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
109 months ago
Have Mac peeps always been this pissy? Are they never happy? Do they still have their panties twisted from Steve's passing? Anyway...this program works just fine so long as you live within its confines (can't we say the same damn thing about a great many things in life?). If you expect to be playing first person shooters on a dang display hooked up over heavily trafficked wifi connections...well...let's just say there's more than just a screw loose going around. If you don't mind using it to improve your productivity with some slightly static information...well...it's not a bad little program for only $9.99.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
109 months ago



Why would you use an iPad for a second display? I'm guessing people on here have the ridiculous 27 incher and a cinema display. So what's the point. Enlighten me please... :)

I do a lot of programming at school and from various locations with my group on my Macbook Air. I would use this to have a Visio document with sequence diagrams, data models, etc. while I'm programming. It would come in handy for when I have work to do and I'm not at home on my desktop. It's definitely better than nothing in those situations.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple Takes Legal Action Against Small Company With Pear Logo

Saturday August 8, 2020 11:09 am PDT by
Apple is taking legal action against the developers of the app "Prepear" due to its logo, according to iPhone in Canada. Prepear is an app that helps users discover recipes, plan meals, make lists, and arrange grocery deliveries. The app is a spinoff of "Super Healthy Kids," and the founders claim that they are facing litigation from Apple. Apple reportedly takes issue with Prepear's logo, ...

Apple Seeds iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 Public Beta 4 to Testers

Thursday August 6, 2020 10:05 am PDT by
Apple today seeded new public betas of upcoming iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 updates to its public beta testing group. Today's software releases, which Apple labels as fourth betas to keep them in line with developer betas, are actually the third betas that Apple has provided and they come two weeks after the prior beta releases. Public beta testers who have signed up for Apple's beta testing...

Supposed iPhone 12 Display Unit Leaks

Thursday August 6, 2020 8:13 am PDT by
An image supposedly of an iPhone 12 display unit has been shared online by leaker "Twitter user Mr. White". Compared to images of an iPhone 11 Pro display piece, this new unit has a reoriented display connector, reaching up from the bottom of the display, rather than from the left-hand side on iPhone 11 Pro. This may be due to the logic board moving to the other side of the device. A...

8 Third-Party Home Screen Widgets That You Can Try Out Now on iOS 14

Wednesday August 5, 2020 12:56 pm PDT by
One of the biggest new features of iOS 14 is Home Screen widgets, which provide information from apps at a glance. The widgets can be pinned to the Home Screen in various spots and sizes, allowing for many different layouts. When the iOS 14 beta was first released in June, widgets were limited to Apple's own apps like Calendar and Weather, but several third-party developers have begun to test ...

New 27-Inch iMac's Storage Affixed to Logic Board, 4TB and 8TB Configurations Have Expansion Connector

Friday August 7, 2020 7:46 am PDT by
Following a report from German blog iFun.de that claimed the new 27-inch iMac's flash storage is soldered to the logic board, MacRumors has obtained additional information in an internal document for Apple technicians. In the document, Apple says that the flash storage is indeed affixed to the logic board and cannot be removed. However, for the 4TB and 8TB configurations, Apple says that a...

2020 iMac Teardown Reveals Internal Changes and Similarities

Saturday August 8, 2020 12:44 pm PDT by
A teardown video, shared by OWC, reveals the internal changes in the new 2020 27-inch iMac. The 2020 27-inch iMac was announced earlier this week with 10th-generation Intel Core processors, AMD Radeon Pro 5000 series graphics, up to 128GB of RAM, up to 8TB of storage, a 1080p front-facing FaceTime camera, a True Tone display with a nano-texture glass option, higher fidelity speakers, and...

Kuo: iPhone 12 Camera Lens Supplier Experiencing Quality Issues, But May Not Affect Launch Schedule

Thursday August 6, 2020 9:30 pm PDT by
One of Apple's camera lens suppliers for the upcoming non-Pro iPhone 12 models is having quality issues, according to a new research note from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo seen by MacRumors. The issues are, however, unlikely to have an impact on Apple's shipping schedule, presuming that Apple's other main supplier can make up the difference. Kuo says that Genius Electronic Optical has discovered...

Google's $349 Pixel 4a vs. Apple's $399 iPhone SE

Wednesday August 5, 2020 1:45 pm PDT by
Google this week launched its newest smartphone, the $349 Pixel 4a, a low-cost device that's designed to compete with other affordable devices like Apple's iPhone SE. We picked up one of the new Pixel 4a smartphones and thought we'd check it out to see how it measures up to the iPhone SE, given that the two devices have such similar price points. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel ...

Sony WH-1000XM4 Noise-Canceling Headphones Now Available for $350

Friday August 7, 2020 2:01 am PDT by
Sony's flagship WH-1000MX3 noise-canceling headphones have been among the best on the market for some time, and this week Sony released its fourth-generation WH-1000XM4 headphones boasting some notable improvements on the previous model. The XM4s feature the same basic design as the XM3s, but are one gram lighter at 254 grams due to slightly larger ear pads and some subtle tweaks to the...

Apple Announces New 27-Inch iMac With 10th-Gen Processors, Up to 128GB RAM, 1080p Webcam, True Tone, and More

Tuesday August 4, 2020 8:07 am PDT by
Apple today announced a new 27-inch iMac with faster 10th-generation Intel Core processor options, next-generation AMD graphics, up to 128GB of RAM, a higher-resolution 1080p front-facing FaceTime camera, a True Tone display with a nano-texture glass option, a T2 chip, higher fidelity speakers, studio-quality microphones, and more. A breakdown of the new 27-inch iMac's features and specs:10th...