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I carry my iPad everywhere, and now that I've got the new one with the high resolution display, I'd like to use it as a second monitor for my Macbook Pro. It would be great if I could occasionally use it as a second display for my various windows computers as well, but primarily the Mac.

I'm not terribly interested in using the touchscreen or moving the audio - in other words I don't need to control the computer with the iPad. I just want to extend the desktop with the retina display and give myself a ton more space with a tiny monitor.

What iPad secondary monitor apps support the high resolution retina display?

If there are several, preference would be given to the one that uses the least network bandwidth, if known. I won't be watching videos, but when I'm just showing a static image on the iPad (such as a document) I don't want it using 20% of my wireless network.

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4 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

There is an app called Air Display that will allow you to do this. It also recently got retina display support for the new iPad.

enter image description here

Some notes:

  • Use your iPad, iPhone or Mac as a second (or third) monitor with no messy cables or wires.
  • Use your finger to draw directly on the screen. Try it with a Mac calculator app, painting tool, or music control surface!
  • Air Display works in both landscape and portrait configurations. Just rotate your screen, and it automatically reconfigures.

MacRumors and 9to5mac.com discussed the upcoming retnia support update coming soon last week. They issued a press release of some sort last week, many blogs covered this upcoming feature. They also covered this on their blog and how it will work.

Update - it looks like this feature is now available in version 1.6. More on MacStories as well.

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No retina support as of 26 march 2012... –  Adam Davis Mar 26 '12 at 19:17
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updated. Not as of right now, but I think they emailed just about every blog imaginable last week to announce it was coming. –  jmlumpkin Mar 26 '12 at 19:20
    
It's been a week since the blog post indicated they were going through another apple review cycle. I'm sure lots of apps were recently updated for the new iPad, so there may be a bit of a backlog, but this one still isn't updated yet... –  Adam Davis Mar 30 '12 at 14:13
    
Just tested it with Snow Leopard, and it does use the full resolution. I'm disappointed with the obvious compression artifacts, but having written display drivers I can understand the need, and it suits my needs well. –  Adam Davis Apr 2 '12 at 19:46
    
Ouch, it doesn't seem to support lower resolutions either. –  Adam Davis Apr 2 '12 at 19:49
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Take a look at AirDisplay, which does exactly what you need:

enter image description here

Retina and HiDPI support are coming very soon as per this blog post, which suggests the App is already in the review process:

"So, stay tuned. We need to wait through another Apple review cycle before this goes live but we think it’s going to be worth the wait."

An Instant Second Monitor

Use your iPad, iPhone or Mac as a second (or third) monitor with no messy cables or wires.

Touch your desktop

Use your finger to draw directly on the screen. Try it with a Mac calculator app, painting tool, or music control surface!

Orient it anyway you want

Air Display works in both landscape and portrait configurations. Just rotate your screen, and it automatically reconfigures.

No wires needed

With Air Display you never need to mess with monitor cables.

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It doesn’t seem to mention anything about Retina display support, though. –  Mathias Bynens Mar 26 '12 at 19:16
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It was last updated in December, 2011, so I doubt it supports retina. Can you quote in your answer where it does? –  Adam Davis Mar 26 '12 at 19:17
    
Gladly, updated. –  stuffe Mar 26 '12 at 19:27
    
I emailed the developer and his Air Display retina update is in for review already. I already use it and it's good. One of the nice things to expect with the update is that there has been serious optimisation to make it fast enough for higher resolution over wireless, so 1024x768 has become faster also! –  Adam Eberbach Mar 26 '12 at 20:54
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I've been using DisplayPad myself. It's been working absolutely flawlessly for me.

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It doesn't have retina support, but appears to be a low cost alternative to others. –  Adam Davis Mar 26 '12 at 19:34
    
Ditto, but there's limited support for Lion and it won't work with my 2009 MacBook Pro. cleancutcode.com/displaypad/lion –  timothymh Mar 26 '12 at 19:41
    
@AdamDavis: Ah, sorry, you're right. Not having one of the retina displays, I just didn't notice that. –  mhucka Mar 27 '12 at 20:14
    
@TimothyMueller-Harder: OK, but in my defense, but the OP did not mention anything about 2009 MBPs. –  mhucka Mar 27 '12 at 20:16
    
@mhucka True, that's why I gave you an up vote. But to quote the site: "DisplayPad now supports Lion, except on machines with the NVIDIA GeForce 9400M. The following machines have this card and are currently unsupported: late 2008 Aluminium MacBooks; all 2009 MacBooks; late 2008 and mid 2009 MacBook Airs; late 2008, early 2009, and mid 2009 MacBook Pros; 20 inch early 2009 iMacs; some late 2009 iMacs" –  timothymh Mar 27 '12 at 23:08
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Another option is Screen Recycler. Basically you set up Screen Recycler on your Mac and then you run a VNC app on your iPad which extends the desktop of your Mac. That means that any computer/tablet capable of running a VNC client would be compatible. (It was originally designed for an old Mac you no longer use.)

TUAW has a short explanation of the app. There's a more in-depth tutorial here.

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Does it support the retina display resolution, 2048x1536? Would it if I were to find a VNC app that supported the full retina display resolution? –  Adam Davis Mar 27 '12 at 11:13
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