My wife is a nurse, and she - along with the other nurses on her ward - has been given an iPad Air with a keyboard case by her hospital for the purposes of charting. The issue here being that the keyboard in said case is A. notably smaller than a full-sized laptop keyboard, and B. heavier than my MBP, and C. sucks. But, since it's corporate hardware and does provide a disproportionate amount of armor for the device (as well as being SCREWED closed around the device), I'm reticent to just swap out the case and risk reprisals for her.

The device's UUID is what is dictating her login, best as I can tell, so I cannot swap out the device itself.

We're an all-Apple household/ecosystem, and she has an Silicon iMac at her desk now. I know it's possible to INSTALL an iOS app onto an M Mac, but is it possible to OPERATE one ON the iPad using her iMac? Can I mirror the screen or SideCar/AirBridge/Cast/Airplay/etc. to her iMac, allowing her to provide inputs using the iMac, and view the screen on the iMacs much-larger display?

In short, can she use the iMac as a proxy to OPERATE an iPad app ON the iPad?


Additional information:

  • It is an iPad Air gen3
  • The iPad is secured with a corporate provisioning profile, which both precludes the installation of additional apps (apparently), and prevents her logging in with her own iCloud account

(Ugh, as I type this, I think I'm answering my own question here).

Is there a "docking station" hardware solution, perhaps? Like a port-replicator/KVM-style extension?

  • 2
    I assume the AppleID on the iPad is different from the AppleID on your Macs?
    – nohillside
    Feb 25, 2023 at 18:11
  • Excellent question! And probably diagnostically significant. Let me check.
    – NerdyDeeds
    Feb 25, 2023 at 18:12
  • 1
    Why not pair a BT keyboard to it?
    – Allan
    Feb 25, 2023 at 18:12
  • 2
    I recommended that because operating the medical software on or through an unauthorized workstation, even by remote control, is likely to be a violation of the acceptable use agreement. My advise is to not pursue this approach.
    – Allan
    Feb 25, 2023 at 18:21
  • 2
    This is builtin in modern versions of macOS and iOS (assuming recent hardware as well), but does require that both devices are logged into the same iCloud account. This is rather unlikely in your case, so pairing a better keyboard (assuming this is allowed) might be the best shot.
    – nohillside
    Feb 25, 2023 at 19:20

1 Answer 1


The (/An) Answer

So, the general consensus is, "No, given the constraints [I'm] operating within." The options one has to carry out what I was trying to do are all contingent on the AppleID's matching, installation of an app, or both.

An alternative solution

I figured I'll post what I wound up jury-rigging up from materials I had on hand to resolve the stated complaints (admittedly, though, not in as seamless a form factor as I'd have liked), in the off chance someone with a similar issue might take inspiration.

I dug out an old 27-inch Samsung monitor and, using the VESA mount holes on its backside, bolted on an old sleeve-style wall-mount formerly belonging to a now-retired laptop. This allows the iPad - still in its stupidly-overbuilt case - to be slid in from the side of the display, securely holding it out of view.

Next, I used a Lightning Digital AV Adapter to connect it to the display via a 6" HDMI cable. This addressed the screen size constraints (although resolution is dictated by the iPad).

Slap down a spare magic keyboard and magic mouse, and we wind up with a not-too-distant analog to an iMac, albeit one far-less svelte/sexy or as feature-rich (and which occupies a second desk, hooray).

I took measurements offa the cased iPad and the VESA position, and I'll 3D print a better mount this week that will both hold the AV Adapter's lightning plug and snugly-guide the still-cased iPad onto it, so she can just slide it in from the top & it'll "dock" with the cable like those Henge docks that were all the rage back in the late 2010's.

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