Many Mac users have dual displays; often using a MacBook display connected to an external display. Why? Another old saying. “You can never have too much screen real estate.” We can argue the point, but here’s a way to add an iPad’s screen to your Mac’s screen.
Look At All Those Pixels!
This article is really a quick look at a couple of apps; one for the Mac, one for iPhone and iPad. Combined, they do something magical to your Mac’s screen pixel count.
The Mac app is called Duet and it’s free. Why free? Because to use it attach an iPad or iPhone screen to your Mac you need the companion iOS app and that’s not so free.
The iOS version is called Duet Display, and both apps together let you use your iPhone or iPad (particularly the iPad) as an extra screen attached to your Mac.
Whoa! Wait! What?
Yep. An iPad becomes a second screen when attached to a Mac. Wait. Who wants to put a little iPad screen next to a MacBook Pro (as an example)? Well, the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display has native screen resolution of 2560×1600 pixels.
An iPad Air 2 with Retina display has 2048×1536 screen resolution, so using Duet is akin to doubling the MBP’s screen size. For MacBook Air users, an iPad Air 2 more than doubles the Mac total screen resolution.
Take a look.
All you need is a Mac, and iPad or iPhone, both Duet for Mac and Duet Display for iOS, and a cable to connect the iPad or iPhone to the Mac. The iPad’s Retina display runs at 60fps, so there’s no lag (thanks to the cable connection).
The example I prefer to use is what I use myself. A MacBook Air and an iPad Air. One lightning cable with the Duet apps and my total screen real estate has more than doubled. Now, get this. You can touch the iPad’s screen and interact as if your finger was a mouse. Yet, the Mac’s trackpad or mouse also interacts with the iPad’s screen.
There’s even duet for Windows notebooks.
Although you can use Duet with a much larger iMac and a much smaller iPhone, the magic happens between MacBook and iPad, both logistically and emotionally. It just works. It’s like having a larger external display attached to your Mac, but it’s your iPad. All those Retina display pixels add up to a great package.
In the case of Duet for Mac and Duet Display for an iPad, “The road less traveled…” happens to be the right road to get more screen, more flexibility, more mobility, but all for less money. Why would you do this to an iPad? It’s really more of a Mac issue instead. You get more screen real estate when you’re traveling.
Duet is also one of those apps you need to see to appreciate the value. Say, ‘Thank you, YouTube.‘