If you are constantly on the go and you already own an Apple Macbook or MacBook Pro and an iPad than this app might just be perfect for you. Right now I am working across three displays, which makes my life far easier than struggling with a single display setup. However, when I travel I only have my laptop with me and switching between multiple applications or browser tabs can be quite annoying. This is where the Duet Display application comes in to save the day. This application can easily be installed on your iPad or iPhone and will allow you to extend your display for superior work flow and multitasking. If you own an iPad Air 2 or iPad Pro, you will be able to allocate two-thirds of the display for Mac OS X or Windows applications and the other third can be used for your favorite iOS applications.
The Duet Display application has been around for a few years now and was created by a former Apple engineer who saw the potential of the iPad as a second display. This application is not free and will set you back a mere $14.99, and in my honest opinion it is worth every cent. You will also have to make sure that your iPad or iPhone has iOS 7.0 or later installed on it. This should be relatively easy as iOS 10.3 is the current version and will not be an issue if you have a newer iPad. Even though you can use your iPhone, I would not recommend this as it is far too small to be affective and you will run into resolution issues between the two devices. You will also have to make sure that your MacBook has Mavericks or later installed on it or else this application will not work. If you are a Windows user, then fear not, Duet, Inc has your back. The application will also work if you are running Windows 7 or later. This takes it out of the realm of Apple fans and opens up the application to a larger community of users. Duet, Inc also offer a Pro version of Duet Display which will set you back $20 a year. So what is the difference between the two versions? Well, apart from the standard features that Duet Display offers, it also offers support for the iPad Pro and the Apple Pencil. This will allow you to turn your iPad into a professional drawing tablet for your laptop. The Pro version also unlocks pressure and tilt sensitivity, hover, palm rejection, and more to your setup. If you are running a Windows based laptop, then you will have to make sure that you are running Windows 8.1 or Windows 10. You also need to run a 64-bit version of Windows, which rules out almost every budget friendly Windows tablet as most run a 32-bit (x86) version of Windows.
Connecting your iPad could not be simpler, you will need to use your charging cable to plug your iPad into your laptop or desktop and the free Duet desktop application will automatically detect your device.
Then you will have to launch the Duet iPad application which will transform your iPad into a high performance touchscreen display. While some might have preferred a wireless solution, this has its downsides too with laggy performance, network issues and even pixelated screens due to slow data transfer speeds. I think that the cable solution is perfect and the faster transfer speeds make up for the extra cable that has to be plugged into your laptop.
Overall, Duet Display is a great application for the tiny $14.99 price tag and if you already carry around an iPad while you are on the go, then this is a great solution to an ongoing problem. I also stumbled upon a company called Ten 1 Design who have created a product called Mountie. This little clip will set you back $24.95, and will allow you to mount your iPad or iPhone to your laptop’s display, giving you an almost seamless multi-monitor setup.