iOS App Review: Air Display Becomes Your Extra Computer Monitor
Apple developers have discovered a need to become more and more innovative in designing apps for iOS as time goes by. It seems as though most of the good ideas are taken, and if they haven’t been taken already it’s because Apple rejected those ideas. Avatron is one of the latest developers to demonstrate a talent for discovering innovative new ideas that are able to take iOS to the next level. Air Display is one of the company’s most recent creations.
The concept of Air Display is simple: use your iOS device — whether it be iPad, iPod Touch or iPhone — as a second (or third) computer monitor. If you currently have only one monitor and are itching to stuff some extra information into 3.5” or 9” worth of extra screen real estate, Air Display is very ideal.
And up until last week it only worked for a Mac, but now a beta version for Windows is available. This definitely increases the possibility that Avatron has a star app on its hands. I had the opportunity to try out the Windows version for myself.
I downloaded the software client from Avatron’s website and also got Air Display onto my iPhone via App Store, and I was ready to roll. All it takes at this point is making sure both the computer and iOS device are hooked up to the same WiFi. If you don’t have WiFi available, you can create an ad hoc network on your computer that at least lets both devices find each other and connect.
My limitation is that I have an iPhone 3GS and iPod Touch 2G, but I do not have an iPad. So when I tried it on my iPhone, I was able to see that it worked just fine as an additional monitor but the screen is just a little too small for my taste when I’m used to a 20” monitor. But the iPad is a completely different story because the screen size is just a smidge smaller than a typical netbook. This means it’s a lot more helpful to use your iPad as an extra monitor for your computer when you have need.
One more part of Air Display that comes in handy is full use of the touchscreen. In other words, I can use my finger as a mouse on the iOS device if I find that to be easier. Again, huge difference maker on the iPad.
My conclusion? It’s okay for the iPhone and can be handy in certain situations; but the iPad is where the Air Display shines and worth the $9.99 price. $10 normally sounds like a lot to spend for most apps in the App Store, but is definitely a lot less expensive than having to buy an extra full-screen monitor.
I love that Avatron has come out with this type of app. It means that as developers continue to grow in talent and number, we’re going to see more creativity and innovation in iOS and we’ll be able to find many more cool uses for our iPhones and iPads.
For more information, check out Avatron’s website here.
Has anybody tried Air Display? I definitely want to hear from you on your thoughts.
The press release is attached below:
Air Display Turns iPad into Extra PC Monitor for 70% More Screen Space
Add Extra Screen Real Estate to Netbook, Laptop or Desktop PC with Lightweight App from
Avatron Software; Leverages Wireless Connectivity, iPad Touch Screen for Easy, Anywhere
PORTLAND—Avatron® Software, a leading developer of popular applications for the Apple iPhone OS
platform, just launched its new Air Display app that turns any iPad into an extra monitor for netbook,
laptop or desktop computers, adding up to 70 percent more usable screen space. Following its launch, Air
Display shot up to the top-grossing third-party app position on iTunes.
The lightweight app improves productivity by allowing users to reposition windows or workflow elements
onto the separate screen to free up more workspace. It is ideal for pairing with small laptops, such as the
MacBook Air. A Windows version is currently under development.
“Air Display is perfect for times when you need more screen space, especially for graphics software like
Photoshop, Office or iWork, or games that require more room than a 13” screen can provide,” said Dave
Howell, CEO of Avatron Software. “The app makes it incredibly easy to setup the iPad on a desk, at a
coffee shop—wherever you need some extra workspace. You just launch the app and it’s ready to go.”
Air Display connects the devices over a localized wireless network and leverages the iPad’s auto-rotation
feature, allowing the device to be rotated in portrait or landscape orientation as needed. The iPad can be
positioned to the left or right of the primary screen, and the device’s hallmark touch-screen functionality
can still be used to manipulate features on the iPad screen, just as if it were being used alone.
The app delivers hi-performance mouse capabilities with a screen refresh rate of 150 frames per second
for no perceivable lag time in mouse performance. Compressed image quality and refresh speed are
continually balanced to optimize viewing quality or speed of movement as needed.
For easy installation, the required Mac components are installed to the main machine, with the Air Display
app loaded on the iPad. Once basic configurations are made, the main machine automatically recognizes
the iPad as a secondary monitor each time the app is loaded on the device. Once the iPad app is closed,
the main machine automatically returns to single-screen mode.
For best results, a stand may be used to position the iPad in the ideal viewing position—a picture frame,
plate holder or folding stand works well, as do some iPad cases.
Designed by seasoned Mac OS developers with more than 25 years of Apple software engineering
experience, Air Display is the result of deep iPlatform knowledge to most effectively leverage the
platform’s unique capabilities.
Avatron’s success with its first two iPad apps are the result of the company’s focus on productivity apps,
which translate very well on the iPad, relative to the iPhone. Avatron’s first iPad app was Air Sharing
HD, which lets users transfer virtually every file type from their desktop to the iPad, creating a portable
document storage device.
Air Display for iPad is available in the U.S. now for just $9.99 in the App Store. The Mac OS installer is
free at www.avatron.com/ad. International versions will launch in conjunction with the iPad international
Air Display is part of Avatron’s highly acclaimed family of productivity Apps for iPhone, iPod touch and
iPad. For more information, visit www.avatron.com.
About Avatron Software
Avatron® Software is a leading developer of popular applications across all genres for the iPhone, iPod
touch and iPad, including Air Sharing, Air Sharing Pro, Air Sharing HD and Air Display. Avatron’s Air
Sharing file-sharing app was downloaded by more than 1 million users in its first two weeks and has
raised the bar for iPhone application design and quality. The company’s Avatron Publishing division builds
App Store programs around content created by market-leading media producers. Avatron was founded
in April 2008 by Dave Howell, a former Apple software engineering manager, and a team of veteran Mac
OS X programmers. The company is based in Portland, Oregon.