How To Video: How to turn your iPad into a second monitor for your Mac
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How To Video: How to turn your iPad into a second monitor for your Mac

3:13 /

What's better than a laptop with one screen? Well, how about two? For $9.99, Air Display is an app that transforms your iPad into a wireless extended display for your Mac, even allowing touch controls--and as we discovered, it works pretty well.

^M00:00:00 [ Music ] ^M00:00:09 >>Hi, I'm Scott Stein, Senior Associate Editor at CNET.com and I'm going to show you how to turn your iPad into a second monitor for your laptop or desktop. Well, first of all this is for Macs only although there will be Windows support for this soon and secondly, it's going to require a $9.99 app called Air Display that's available now in the Apps Store. Now, these types of apps have been available before but none have really quite worked so well as this one and how it works is it sets up a wireless connection using Wi-Fi connecting locally between your computer and your iPad to actually extend your interface and make it a second monitor like you'd have if you bought a large monitor and connected it yourself. Now, there's a little bit of a delay but it works so fast and so nicely that if you're traveling and you happen to have both devices, you could find this great if you want to work on two documents side-by-side and, hey, it even plays Flash and will even stream a little bit of Hulu although at a smaller frame rate and no it does not carry an audio signal. Now, while the app is $9.99 and that's not cheap for an app, it's a lot cheaper than what you'd invest in a second monitor and it's a lot more portable and it's a way to use your iPad in a different manner if you're traveling. Now, what you do is really simple. When you download the app and start it up it actually gives you an instruction screen that tells you how to download the software and then you download it on your Mac and it installs a tool bar at the top that you can use to connect. You turn it on and if you're both on the same wireless network that has to happen then it will show you a list of other iPads that are in range. Probably, yours is the only iPad in range unless you're at an Apple Store or you're a massive iPad consumer. So, you select that one and then a little bit of a flash will occur and then both should be linked. Now, the iPad can work in both portrait and landscape mode which is nice; although, you may want to keep the orientation lock on because we found when you twist it, it kind of seems to throw off the syncing and it can cause it to disconnect but when it's on, the mouse arrow will actually work across. You can drag any window back and forth the same way you would with a monitor. It's using the iPad's native resolution which is good but it's definitely not 13-inch; it's lower than 1366 x 768 so you're going to have to resize things a little bit and the cool thing is it actually allows touch interface. So, yes, you can actually touch and control web browser uses, you can click on links, you can even drag and highlight although that's a little bit quirky in version 1.0 and if you bring up a browser based or other type of paint program you could actually draw on it using the touch interface. But as you'll see, it's a little bit slower speed you may want to just simply download Brushes or SketchBook Pro or any of the other great and affordable tools on the iPad and use those. And that brings up a another point, you know, you can use the iPad as a secondary display without this, in fact, you know, you can set it up next to your computer, bring up e-mail, bring up the web browser that are built-in to the iPad and you get a sort of secondary computing experience as is. I'm Scott Stein and that's how you can setup an iPad to be a second monitor for your Mac.

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