The iPad allows you to be incredibly portable and is a great alternative to lugging around a laptop in transit. However, most of us have a computer available to us once we get to our destination, which can often leave the iPad collecting dust next to it. Why not put it to work and use your iPad’s fancy display as an addition to your screen real estate?
Air Display for the iPad (which also works for iPhone and iPod Touch), is an app that lets you use your Apple portable device as an additional display for your Mac or Windows computer. It simply requires an App Store download on your iPad ($9.99) and a download of support software for your Mac or PC. The setup is fast and easy, and once you connect the devices over a wireless connection, you’re ready to go.
Although this app is usually very snappy, I wouldn’t recommend using Air Display with any intense applications that require a lot of visual updating. There is some lag if you’re moving windows quickly or streaming video. However, it seems to work great as a little sidebar for things like email, calendars, chat windows, and tool palettes.
Also, it may be worth the download just to see things like Hulu or anything in Flash on your iPad, regardless of the quality.
Here are some requirements that you may want to be aware of: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 3.2 or later. For Mac, it requires Mac OS X 10.5.8 or later, on an Intel CPU. For Windows, it requires Windows XP, Vista, or 7.
The group that created Air Display, Avatron, has a slick website with a user gallery showing how people use their Air Display setups. Here is Avatron’s website.