iPad App of the Week: Duet Display

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duet display for iPad

Who doesn’t like great iPad apps? At iPad Insight we definitely do. With that in mind, we offer up a quick review of an excellent iPad app, or a few great iPad apps, here each week.

Our weekly picks for Best iPad App of the Week are published here every Saturday. Check out all out picks below and you’ll soon have a collection of stellar apps for your favorite tablet.

This week’s pick is Duet Display, a $19 utility that allows you to make use of your iPad as a secondary screen for your Mac. Most of these types of apps use Wi-Fi as the way to extend the Mac desktop onto the iPad, but Duet Display requires a wired connection, which results in a much more fluid experience.

Here’s a slice of its App Store intro:

Duet Display allows you to use your iPad or iPhone as an extra display. Developed by a team of ex-Apple engineers, duet is the first high performance solution that has zero lag.

To setup, download and open duet on your Mac (for free) and on iOS. Connect your iDevice to your Mac using a lightning or 30 pin cable. Done.

No need to worry about firewall settings, Wi-Fi speed or your 802.11n network. Duet is secure, simple, and allows you to use your iOS and OS X devices in harmony.

Imagine bringing your MacBook Air or Pro with you to the coffee shop, attaching your iPad, and having an instant two-screen setup ready within one minute. This lets developers code on one screen and preview on the other, or writers have research on one screen and a fullscreen writing app on the other.

duet display with mac

This isn’t just hypothetical either. I tried this out with my 2013 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro and it worked wonderfully. The iPad displayed an extra desktop at its default resolution, and text within iMessage and Safari was crisp and wonderfully legible. What’s more, I also threw 720p YouTube videos onto the iPad’s side, and the video synced perfectly with the audio coming out of my headphones. What’s more, the iPad still remains a touch sensitive app, so you can tap on the screen and have it register as a mouse click.

Duet Display isn’t perfect — there were definitely some bugs at launch and fullscreen apps can still be a bit buggy when they’re on the iPad — but I’m still really impressed by how fast the screen refresh rate is. Wi-Fi display apps are awesome, but not great for anything more than viewing PDFs. Duet Display really is like carrying a one-pound mini monitor around with me, and it was well worth the purchase price.

Here’s an App Store link Duet Display; it’s $19 on the App Store, so it isn’t cheap, but if you want an extra screen with you on-the-go, there’s really nothing else like it.

If you’re interested in more great iPad apps, check out our Best iPad Apps section!

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