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MaxiVista: Use iPad as Second Monitor for Your Windows PC

MaxiVista: Use iPad as Second Monitor for Your Windows PC

This is a guest post by Rajat, if you like to do a guest post for us, read: Guest posting guidelines.

There’s no debate as to how magical the iPad has been. We totally take Jonathan Ive’s word for that. However, the functionality that I’m about to discuss is one that I had never imagined before. But who had? Using your iPad as a secondary display does sound cool and can be put to great use in our everyday lives.

This feature is made available to us by an AppStore product called MaxiVista which turns your iPad into a second display unit. You can place it on any of the four sides of your existing monitor and use them both as if they were just one large piece of display. This will help you clear some clutter off your desktop and increase productivity to a limited but significant extent.

How does it work?

The app uses wi-fi so there is negligible lag in actual usage. Moreover, no extra hardware is required. The app works with any PC running 32 or 64 Bit Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7. So, we have the whole windows family covered. However, no support for Mac users on this app, atleast for now. Another, feature I liked is that it is orientation aware and responds to the way the iPad is held.

You’ll also need to download the free utility for Windows from here.

What we found missing and expect in future updates?

  • Full screen video playback unavailable
  • Aero mode disabled as long as MaxiVista is On
  • No touch controls on the iPad

The app is priced at $9.99 and personally I think the app is not totally worthy of the price tag, atleast right now. Touch controls are largely welcome.

Do tell us what use you think you can put this to? Apart from the obvious Photoshop palettes or calculator like utilities etc.

Article by Rajat

Rajat has written 225 articles.

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{ 3 comments… add one }

  • Michael July 30, 2010, 11:29 am

    Hi,

    thank you for the nice article, Rajat.

    We really appreciate your comments and your points are valid. We are currently working on a Mac to iPad version.

    Just one question. Why would you want touch pad support if the iPad is being used as a monitor? The pupose of a second monitor is to extend the desktop of the main PC to get more desktop space for program windows. In this scenario, the iPad should be positioned right next to your PC monitor on a stand to allow a seamless transition when moving windows from the main monitor to the iPad.

    Just like shown in our demo video at:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BhbGgLOxc-Y

    When working on the PC, you are using the mouse and keyboard of the Window PC. I would wonder why you would want to leave the hand from the mouse, reach over in an uncomfortable stretched way to the iPad with your arm, touch things on the extended screen that you could actually reach MUCH easier and quicker by simply using the mouse of the PC?!

    As a few users asked for touch support, we wondered why and could not find a real application for this scenario. Your feedback would be very much appreciated. We can gladly add touch support in a future version if it makes sense and if there are real world applications.

    Michael
    MaxiVista Team

  • Rajat July 30, 2010, 3:24 pm

    Hey Michael,
    It’s really nice to see a Dev team which is here to really listen to customers at the end of the day. So great going there.

    Now, about the upcoming Mac to iPad feature, that will be the best gift you could come up with for fulltime Mac users like us. Let’s talk about the touch implementation. Given your perspective it’s totally justified to let the mouse and keyboard take control of everything. However, look at it from my point of view.

    The iPad is really portable, no doubt. Personally I will use it less often on the side of my display and instead somewhere else in the room. Suppose my Dad’s come over for the weekend and I wish to leave him in the bed with the iPad while I sit at the desktop throwing windows and apps for him to look at. The display is taken care of. Wouldn’t it be great if he could actually be able to click on the back button in Safari or click on dial again once that call on skype dropped. Do you see some sense in that.

    Being a developer myself, i do realize it’s one hell of an implementation and good luck to you for that. However, I do believe it will be an effort totally worth it. I haven’t tried the other app yet which does this already on Macintosh computers but I think they have already achieved it there. Do get back and let us know what you think.

    Good day

  • Michael August 2, 2010, 2:11 am

    I fully understand that you may want to remote control the PC occasionally and be able to use the touch pad to control PC programs.

    Have you considerered to try VNC for such task? It may be much better for that particular task.!

    The benefit of VNC is that you have full control about the whole PC desktop and not just the extended screen of the Windows PC.

    MaxiVista really is specialized to provide you an extra display. If you want to control the PC, I would suggest to give a VNC client a shot.

    Michael

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