Dual display or portable desktop – your choice
If you’ve ever needed a 2nd monitor or wished you could walk around the house, office or store with your desktop Avatron has a solution.
Their Air Display software lets you use your iPhone, iPad, Mac or Android as either a 2nd display or as a mirrored touchscreen monitor. It uses your wireless network to connect your devices and extends or mirrors your desktop to your smartphone or tablet.
The software, which costs $9.99, works with Windows and Mac devices.
Easy to install
The installation is simple. Install the software on both devices and connect. Just like that. Almost. I ran into a few issues but they were simple enough to overcome.
I installed this on an iPad and a Windows desktop. The first issue was that, because I was connecting it to a PC with a wired connection and not to a wireless device like a laptop, I had to use the IP address of the iPad and manually make the connection. But get this… the software on the iPad not only walked me thru this very simple procedure, it even provided me the correct IP address.
The second issue was that, while I was able to make it work as a 2nd monitor, what I really wanted was to mirror the desktop to the iPad. I’ll explain why later.
When I tried this I could see the connection being made but the screen did not appear. After some guessing I discovered that it was because the resolution on the PC’s monitor was too low. I bumped it up a little and PRESTO! Problem solved.
All in all it took about 20 minutes to install and get it working. Now that I know about the resolution issue, as do you, it should take about 5 minutes.
Is this useful?
So the software works, but what do you do with it? Well, if you’re traveling with and iPad and a laptop you can use it to extend your desktop to a second monitor. If you are already a dual monitor user you know the value in that. Increased productivity tops that list.
And you can do this at home or in the office, too. As long as you have wireless you can add a 2nd monitor any time you need it or use it to mirror your desktop, freeing you up to roam about. Connect it to your desktop then go sit on the porch and fill out your expense report.
Are you a brick and mortar? Check inventory or back orders while you walk around with a customer. There’s probably dozens of uses for this.
A real world example
How did I use it? One of our customers had a very specific need. They are scrap dealers and wanted to have one employee working outside when it got busy to expedite drop offs. The software they use is designed to be used with a touchscreen and does everything from snapping pictures of vehicles and license plates that are dropping off material to recording weights and material types.
A laptop, in this case, wouldn’t be of much use. Aside from it being a pain to handle out in a scrap yard it isn’t touch screen. Additionally, there was no way to wirelessly connect the laptop to the scales or cameras. But since they have two workstations in the cashier office we used an iPad with Air Display and connected it to the 2nd workstation. As the person using the iPad would normally be using the 2nd workstation this worked out perfectly.
The iPad is a touchscreen and has good resolution. Since it’s mirroring the workstation, which IS connected to the scales and cameras, the problem of taking pictures and getting weights was solved. Plus the iPad is easier to hold and manipulate while roaming around their scrap yard. And because it doesn’t transmit over the internet screen lag is very minimal.
One more benefit, the customer didn’t need to buy any more user licenses for the software.
Why not use remote control software?
It’s a good question. Primarily we chose not to go down that road for a couple reasons. First, with Air Display you don’t need to login. It’s really just like hooking up another monitor with a cable. Also, with a lot of remote software there are timeouts which disconnect you after a certain amount of inactivity. Still others require the connection go thru the internet making screen lag a real problem. This was just a simpler and overall better fit for this requirement.
Your turn. Help me come up with some other uses for this software in the comments section.