By Frank Petrie
So, you've purchased an iPad and you're fairly smug about. And rightfully so, cause you're on the bleeding edge of technology, it's a magnet for meeting people of the opposite sex, and other computer users envy you.
But the more that you've used it, you've discovered that Steve understated its usefulness as a decent production tool, even in it's first generation. But now comes a concept out of left field.
"... Air Display (http://avatron.com/apps/air-display>) lets you position your iPad next to your computer, drag windows onto it, and interact with those windows as you would on any other computer display.
"Air Display works in both landscape and portrait modes...
"Air Display makes a laptop much more useful. Adding the iPad’s 1024×768 display nearly doubles the screen area of a netbook or laptop"
Now, pick your jaw up off of the table and read on.
"Air Display’s performance is extremely responsive, employing a clever dynamic compression algorithm. On a typical Wi-Fi network, mouse cursor refreshes are indistinguishable from a wired mouse.
"Air Display not only gives you a wireless computer screen extender, but also works as a tablet input device. You can use your finger to draw directly on the screen’s surface. Try it with a Mac calculator app, painting tool, or music control surface!"
Air Display makes your laptop a much more versatile tool for the road. By adding the iPad’s 1024×768 display to your laptop's screen, it nearly doubles the screen area available to you. For example, I can now take my iPhone on a convention floor, record video and interviews, return to the hotel, dump the footage into Final Cut Express' then connect my iPad to the laptop, allowing me to place my palettes on the iPad, leaving my laptop's 13" screen solely for my browsers!
And it's equally as valuable on your desktop as a third or fourth monitor I have one friend who uses his iPad only for his social networks. In this way, he doesn't have to put his work on hold while keeping up with his social networks!
Installation was simple. First, download the support software for your boot unit (OS X 5.8 or earlier, OS X 10.6 or later, or Windows/BETA) and install it. Purchase your copy of Air Display for our iPad and install it on your iPad. Restart your boot partition. Now, go into System Preferences>Displays and drag your iPad where you would like it to be in your monitor set up.
There's a help forum on Avatron's site for your assistance. By the way, the server software is free; the client software for the iPhone and/or iPad is $9.99.
Unfortunately, my experience and that of others on the forum was that set up can be a bit tricky. To Avatron's credit, they do have an extensive list of possible remedies for troubles you may have.
But after about 40 minutes of Bluetooth voodoo, I had Air Display up and running. When dragging around windows, you'll notice a slight stutter but nothing serious. I probably could have set the program up a good deal quicker but I haven't that much experience in Bluetooth. Still, it would be nice if they could somehow simplify the process for network newbies like myself.
If you weren't a road warrior, you have no excuse not to be one now. And depending on your needs in your home or business office, you've just gained an unarguable reason to present your spouse with for purchasing an iPad.
Now, I have a 32-inch Samsung, a 13-inch MacBook Pro, an iPhone 4, and an iPad. What's left to buy? (Other than an SSD and more RAM for my laptop..)
Rating: 9 out of 10