An Extra Display For Your Mac Using the iPad as Second Monitor

Using the iPad as second monitor

If you are like me, then it is quite likely that you like to spread your applications on as much screen display space as possible. Even when you have a 27 inch iMac, or maybe even if you have the new Apple Thunderbolt Cinema display, the latest new large monitor from Apple, you still don’t have enough space, and would like more. Or maybe you only have a 13 inch MacBook Pro and you feel the need to spread out a little bit, and have more screen space to perhaps see what is happening on Twitter, Facebook or be able to see who is available on Skype. Did you know that you can use the iPad as a second monitor?

The Amazing iPad

If you have a 27 inch iMac with the two Thunderbolt ports, you can actually have a monitor on either side of your main computer screen. Wouldn’t that be nice! If you have a MacBook Pro then there would be one external video port that you could use, to at least connect one extra screen. But how about this for a different idea, in case you are unable to take advantage of the normal solutions available. Why not use the iPad as second monitor, I know the iPad only has a small screen compared to an inexpensive display monitor, that you can buy from the local computer store. Sometimes though you have just go with what you have available, and in this case you have your laptop or Mac desktop computer available, and your iPad.

Getting set up to use iPad as second monitor

Using iPad as second monitor
The first thing you need to do is to go to iTunes and do a search for iDisplay. iDisplay costs $4.99 and is one part of the setup, that you will need to be able to get using iPad as second display up and running. iDisplay is the client side software, which has to be installed on the iPad. Next, you will need to go to and download the universal app, which is optimised to work with the client app you have already installed on your iPad.

Installation of the universal app on your desktop or laptop is a double-click on an install application. It doesn’t even take much setting up, it just appears in your menu bar, and you are done. After installation you will need to do a restart of your computer. The next thing to do, is to go to your iPad and start the iDisplay application, click on always allow in the pop up dialog, so that the next time you wish to use iDisplay it will automatically connect up.

iPad As Second Monitor – Up and Running

IDisplay for iPad
After you have got the application running, it will be a good idea for you to go to system preferences on your computer and set up the display options. You will see where the iPad display is in relation to the main screen, and you can move the display, to have it wherever it is correct in relation to the main computer. You will find that if you put the display below the main screen, you’ll see that your dock will be displayed in the iPad screen. I wouldn’t find that a terribly satisfactory, preferring to have the extra display on either the right or the left of the main screen. If you have the iPad physically to the left of the main screen, then it will be better to also have it to the left, in the arrangement of the monitors within the setup. If you decide to have the iPad physically to the left, but over on the right in the display set up, you will be continually confusing yourself.

When you use iPad as second monitor, you will find that it works pretty well and you can see any applications that you place on it, no trouble at all. It is not really recommended that you try playing a video on the iPad, on the second screen, as there would be some lag due to the fact that you’re using Wi-Fi to send the image to the iPad screen. What would be more suitable would be if you had a Twitter client, or maybe a web page that you were using as a reference, while you were working writing an article.

Best to Turn off the Bluetooth for Best Results

One thing, that you have to be aware of is the fact that because the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth radios use the same antenna, it is a good idea to make Bluetooth inactive while you’re using iDisplay. If you forget to turn off Bluetooth, then you may find that the Wi-Fi performance is impaired sufficiently to make the display not work as well as you need it to.

In the later versions of iDisplay, they have made it possible to launch applications right from the amazing iPad iOS device, and also be able to move windows to the iDisplay screen.

Increase your Productivity Using an iPad.

It seems to me, that iDisplay would allow you to increase your productivity, due to the fact that you can maximise the viewable area on your main display. Especially for those of us, that are multitasking users, wishing to move some applications to the external display, and keep the main display for work related applications. iDisplay is a good option if you would like the ability to use iPad as second monitor, why not give it a try.

The Amazing iPad