Avatron, the company behind popular secondary display app Air Display 2 today launched an updated version of the software, Air Display 3. Like Air Display 2, Air Display 3 allows users to turn their iPads, iPhones, or iPod touches into secondary displays for their computers, but Air Display 3 has an important new feature -- an option to connect an iOS device to a computer over USB.

Previous iterations of AirDisplay have been forced to work over WiFi (which made using AirDisplay laggy and unreliable) because for a long time, Apple rejected apps that used a USB connection. Apple relaxed its policies on apps accessing USB earlier this year when it approved Duet Display, paving the way for apps like AirDisplay to incorporate the same technology for more solid connections that cut down on lag.

airdisplay3
In our limited testing, AirDisplay 3 used over USB worked well, with little lag, and its performance was comparable to Duet Display. There's still an option to connect over WiFi if USB is not available, but using WiFi was considerably more unreliable with a lot more of a delay when attempting to perform tasks.

In addition to USB support, Air Display 3 has also gained features from Avatron's Air Stylus app, which is being retired. Air Stylus was designed to allow people to use their iPads as pressure sensitive wireless drawing tablets in conjunction with Mac or PC-based computers, and that capability has been added to Air Display 3.

We're retiring our Air Stylus iOS app and we've rolled all of its awesome features into Air Display 3. Now you can draw with your favorite pressure-sensitive stylus directly into a Mac app like Photoshop or Motion. In Air Display 3, we've added support for all of the latest styluses. And on iOS 8, you don't even need a stylus: just tilt your finger to simulate pressure changes.

Air Display 3 also gains support for pinch and zoom gestures, and according to the release notes, its WiFi features have been sped up as well. Older features like multiple monitor support (for up to four iPads), a keyboard, HiDPI options, and touch gestures are also available.

Air Display 3, which is a new app and not an upgrade from AirDisplay 2, can be downloaded from the iOS App Store for $14.99. [Direct Link]

Users will also need to download a free Mac app from the Avatron website to connect their iOS devices to their Macs. For the time being, Air Display 3 is only compatible with Macs running OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion and above, but Avatron has plans to add Windows support in the future.

Top Rated Comments

dz-015 Avatar
122 months ago
After the money I wasted on Air Display only to find out that its promised Retina support was broken and never fixed, they won't be getting any more of my cash.

Duet Display does a great job, so I'm sticking with that.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
macduke Avatar
122 months ago
Coincidence that Duet is on sale today for half price? I think not. :D

Duet was made by former Apple engineers. I'd trust them over Air Display any day. Air Display was neat back in the day on the non-retina iPad but was still laggy and needed WiFi. It's cool that they've added a corded option, and competition is always a good thing. But for me right now nothing beats Duet on my iPad Air 2.

I've never bought a new app and seamlessly integrated it into my entire work day like I have with Duet. It's hooked up to my iMac 9 hours per day. I can unhook it and run to a meeting and bonus, it's 100% charged. When I come back, all my windows and spaces are back on the iPad within a couple seconds of connecting. I can even multitask through a couple other apps on my iPad and come back and it's still connected. It's fast and helps me be more productive. In my testing with an iPad Mini 1st gen, however, it can be laggy and a little slow. But newer iPads work great.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Rudy69 Avatar
122 months ago
Duet is on sale right now so I would get that instead. At regular price for both I don't know which one I would suggest though
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
anthorumor Avatar
122 months ago
Thanks, thread.
Now I'm going to buy Duet!
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Kajje Avatar
122 months ago
Mommy told me, don't pay for beta's. But I didn't listen.

I also fell in the Avatron trap and bought their Air Display beta 2.

Now I won't make the same mistake twice and swipe the card again for beta 3.

I'm happy with Duet.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Glassed Silver Avatar
122 months ago
Haha, oh boy... Too late and also: full price upgrade!

Duet Display wins.

Glassed Silver:mac
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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