My Apple life is one of privilege. I have a 27-inch iMac on my desk at work. I have a 13-inch MacBook Pro for travel. And I have an iPad Air 2 for, well, just because. The latter two travel with me and each has a specific purpose but there is a way they can work together, side-by-side.
All you need is a simple utility on your Mac and iPad and the iPad can become a second screen for the Mac. Think about that for a moment. Many MacBook users have a larger display on their desk in the office or at home. And many of us also have an iPad Air. Duet is the affordable utility (free on the Mac, nominally priced for the iPad) which turns the iPad into an extra external display for the Mac.
Move the Mac’s screen pointer to the edge of the Mac’s screen and it moves onto the iPad’s screen. This is a godsend for those of us who love using a Mac with a larger screen. There’s no substitute for screen real estate and Duet brings it to the MacBook user (and Windows).
Here’s a real world example of how Duet works on a MacBook Air (small screen) with an iPad as the external display.
This is one of those nifty utilities which needs to be tried to be appreciated. It works. Plug in the iPad to your Mac using a Lightning cable. Run Duet on both iPad and Mac. Like magic, the iPad’s screen becomes an external display for the Mac.
Drag and drop Mac windows and apps to the iPad’s screen and it works exactly like having an external display on an Mac. There’s no lag whether using the mouse, trackpad, or keyboard. In fact, everything on the iPad works at 60fps, just like on newer Macs.
Duet works as if it’s already built-in to OS X, and much the same way as simply connecting an external display to a Mac. However, Duet is iPad centric, not Mac centric. That means it works on all Macs running OS X 10.9 or later, all PCs running Windows 7 or later, all iPads that will run iOS 7 or later. And, yes, it even works on the iPhone (I tried it, it works, there’s no need to try it again because the screen is just too small).
None. It just works and I take my iPad and MacBook Pro with me on nearly every trip, and with Duet I get nearly the same screen space as my desktop iMac has (iPad has greater screen resolution than many Macs).
It’s likely that there are as many Windows PC users who have iPads as Mac users who have iPads, so Duet also does Windows (but I can’t vouch for how well it works on Windows because I don’t do Windows, either).
Frankly, this image is scary.
Different strokes for different folks, right?
Duet works on the Mac lag free and it’s a simply plug and play setup which only requires the app and the Lightning cable to connect to the iPad. There are no security settings to worry about and Wi-Fi connectivity is a non-issue. While Duet gets almost 2,500 four and five star reviews, it cannot be tried out first because there’s no trial version for the iOS version of the app. The Mac version is free.
To use it is to love it, though, and I plan to get an iPad Pro shortly after they’re available and can’t wait to test out the MacBook Pro’s extra extra iPad screen.