Air Display: Use iPhone or iPad as a Wireless Touchscreen Display for your Mac

We recently reviewed an app that allowed you to transform your iPad into a Secondary Monitor for your windows machine. This time we bring a solution for Mac users and only better with touch enabled interface.

Most iPhone users have already heard the name Avatron Software before. These are the same people who brought us the much functional Air Sharing app. If you’ve used it before you’ll know that these people are aware of what Apple consumers expect from apps and they have delivered in the past. This time we reviewed the Air Display app which was released late June.

Right now we have two similar apps on the app store which do practically the same task, that being, extending the computer display to Apple iPad or in this case iPhone and iPod Touch too. We reviewed MaxiVista earlier which did this thing for Windows. Air Display not only enables this task for Mac users but also enabled touch input. This app again uses Wi-fi for connecting to your Mac so no wires. The iPad’s 1024×768 display doubles the screen area of my Macbook Pro 13″.

You will need to download an additional software on your computer to get started. Link here. There was some noticeable lag when moving windows and the result wasn’t as sharp as what we got from MaxiVista. Moreover, auto-rotation wasn’t as efficient as well. Maybe, these are issues with the video driver and will get resolved with future updates. Overall, the experience is still great with a few hiccups though.

Some great uses of the app as advertised:

  • Fill your iPad screen with your utility apps, like iChat, Mail, iCal, and Calculator.
  • Amaze your friends by playing Flash animations on your iPad!
  • Graphic design: Make Photoshop and Illustrator usable on your laptop by putting your tool palettes on the iPad screen.
  • Music: Use your iPad as the ultimate control surface for Logic or Pro Tools.
  • Programming: Use the extra display area for such auxiliary development tools as Console, Terminal, and the Debugger.
  • Business: Move all of your iWork and Office palettes and inspector windows onto the iPad, and let your document fill the screen.

Why touch input is welcome on second monitor?

Well Michael from MaxiVista’s Dev team posed this question at us. As to why would one ditch the keyboard and mouse and want to have touch controls on the monitor residing on the side of our primary display. I’ll repeat what I told him. The iPad and iPhone are very portable devices. We are not always aiming at keeping them at the side of our computer.

Quoting myself, 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?

How much does it cost?

This app costs $9.99 which is the same price as MaxiVista however in this case the app can be use on your iPad as well as iPhone and iPod Touch so the ten bucks you spend does get you more in this case. Developers of both apps are working to bring Windows and Mac support to their respective apps thus making them cross platform but at this time neither are.

Here’s the link to one very magical App created for the iPad. This app is the one I’ll recommend to everyone over others once the issues are resolved. Windows users, be patient. An update in the near future will get you hooked as well. Patience indeed is a virtue.

A recent tweet by Avatron said, Early this week: Alpha of Air Display support software for Win XP (32), Vista and Seven (32 and 64-bits). Then open Beta, hopefully in days. Follow Avatron on Twitter here for more updates.