The excellent iPad app, Duet Display has always been one of my favorite apps for adding an extra display to my MacBook at home and PC while at the office. Screen real estate comes at a premium these days, and to be able to add another interactive display to my workflow is always welcome. Originally developed by a couple of ex-Apple engineers, so you know the attention to detail is going to be there, never mind their the instant credibility by association. Luckily for them, Duet Display stands firmly on its own as a multi-tasking go-to for professionals in a variety of fields and careers.
If you haven’t already given Duet Display a try, now is the perfect opportunity to add an extra screen to improve your performance and efficiency. The app was updated last week and is now on sale at 1/2 off the regular price of $19.99. That alone is a great opportunity to buy Duet. However, they have also added an unanticipated caveat–Touch Bar support!
If you aren’t familiar with the Touch Bar, it was the much anticipated, recently introduced, and frequently debated update to the new MacBook Pro. It’s an interactive OLED display that replaced the top row of function keys that reside on the new MBP keyboard with a slider of touch screen buttons that change in accordance with the applications you are currently working in. It’s an interesting concept that is probably a little ahead of its time. More like an exciting new feature that, in theory, has tons of upside and potential, but currently does not have a huge amount of support in non-Apple apps. It’s coming, though, and I look forward to see what developers do with it and how they integrate it into their apps moving forward.
Unfortunately for me, though, I don’t own the 2016 MBP. So I was super stoked to see how Duet Display integrated the Touch Bar function into the iPad app. I have tried hacks that allowed you to add a Touch Bar to your Mac desktop. However, I found the lack of touch interaction with that concept to be less than ideal, and I quickly found myself abandoning it altogether.
With the Touch Bar in Duet Display they have captured the essence of the MBP version, by adding it to the bottom of your shared iPad screen. I have to say–in my short amount of time testing it out, I found it to be functional and something I look forward to utilizing in my daily workflow. I was especially happy to see that, just like the MBP version, the functions/selections that appear in the Touch Bar display seamlessly reflect and change based upon the apps in which you are currently interacting with.
If there is one complaint that I have so far is that when in portrait mode I would like the option of increasing the size of the Touch Bar so as to better see and select the functions I would like to adjust. In landscape mode this isn’t a concern, but once you rotate your iPad screen orientation, the Touch Bar greatly reduces in size. Not a deal breaker, but something that I would like to see tweaked in future versions of the app.