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'Air Display' Updated to Support HiDPI OS X Mode on New iPad

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Apr 12, 2001
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Last month, we noted that Avatron had announced forthcoming support for the new iPad in its Air Display software that allows users to add an iOS device as a wireless external monitor for their Mac.

With the new iPad's Retina display running at 2048x1536, Air Display would be able to display a relatively large OS X desktop, but at very small size. But Avatron has been working to make Air Display compatible with the high-resolution "HiDPI" mode that has been quietly built into OS X. Apple has kept the HiDPI feature hidden by default due to an absence of any Macs with ultra high-resolution "Retina" displays that could use it to significant effect.


Settings for Retina and HiDPI modes in Air Display Connect computer-side app for OS X (Source: MacStories)

The updated version of Air Display is now available [App Store, $9.99], allowing users to set the new iPad as a 1024x768 HiDPI display, taking advantage of the device's Retina display to display the high-resolution elements and text present in OS X Lion.
If you have Mac OS X Lion and a Retina iOS device, now you can turn on "HiDPI mode." HiDPI is a built-in Mac OS X feature that makes UI elements render at double resolution. It's absolutely stunning on a Retina display. By default, Mac OS X disables HiDPI because until now, there has been no Mac display with high enough resolution. Air Display on a new iPad, with its 2048x1536 264-dpi Retina display, finally brings HiDPI to life.
MacStories has some hands-on reports with the new version of Air Display, noting that the feature works very well without significant lag or compression visible when windows are still. When moving windows around the desktop, resolution is degraded as the app works to keep up with the on-screen movements, but for viewing relatively static content the app delivers "incredible image quality".

Air Display is compatible with most Macs running Mac OS X Snow Leopard or later. Notably, late 2008/mid-2009 15-inch MacBook Pro models and early 2009/mid-2009 17-inch MacBook Pro models are not compatible with the Air Display Connect computer-side application when running OS X Lion.

As we also noted last month, Apple's work on HiDPI mode is becoming more visible in OS X Mountain Lion, with the beta version of Messages available for OS X Lion showing some of the fruits of that labor to the public.

Article Link: 'Air Display' Updated to Support HiDPI OS X Mode on New iPad
 

OneMike

macrumors 603
Oct 19, 2005
5,672
1,605
I want to try this app, but I keep hearing about issues.
 
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OneMike

macrumors 603
Oct 19, 2005
5,672
1,605
It may make more sense to use an external Display ($100.00) than to waste your iPad's display acting as an external monitor.

If it worked well I could make use of it. Plenty of us already have an external display, this could be an additional.
 
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cmChimera

macrumors 68040
Feb 12, 2010
3,989
2,865
I saw HiDpi and immediately thought it was a news article about rumored MBP. Needless to say, I was sorely disappointed.
 
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RobQuads

macrumors regular
Jul 11, 2010
231
39
It may make more sense to use an external Display ($100.00) than to waste your iPad's display acting as an external monitor.

Its only a waste if someone else would be using it instead of you, otherwise its a waste NOT to use it when you could
 
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jclardy

macrumors 68040
Oct 6, 2008
3,508
2,426
It may make more sense to use an external Display ($100.00) than to waste your iPad's display acting as an external monitor.

On the new Air's you can only have one external display, this makes an easy and cheap way to add a tertiary monitor if you already own an iPad.

Also with the Air you have an awesome portable dual screen setup.
 
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satchow

macrumors 6502
Jul 11, 2011
467
186
It works okay. Not turning on HiDPI takes advantage of the faster GPU and you don't get much lag/choppiness at all. Now if you turn it on, man it's choppy and laggy.
 
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sbrhwkp3

macrumors 6502a
Jul 17, 2005
533
52
Lake George, NY
What would someone use this for? This isn't a stab at the software... I just can't think of a use for it, and I'm legitimately interested.
 
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puckhead193

macrumors G3
May 25, 2004
9,341
581
NY
What would someone use this for? This isn't a stab at the software... I just can't think of a use for it, and I'm legitimately interested.

to use as a small monitor on your desk to keep itunes, mail etc open.
If it was on sale for like 5/6 bucks i'd give it a shot ;)
 
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faroZ06

macrumors 68040
Apr 3, 2009
3,387
1
What would someone use this for? This isn't a stab at the software... I just can't think of a use for it, and I'm legitimately interested.

A fullscreen VNC client on the iPad that connects to the Mac would work, but it would lag. I'm not sure how this overcomes that.
 
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Friend Trend

macrumors newbie
Aug 11, 2010
27
13
What would someone use this for? This isn't a stab at the software... I just can't think of a use for it, and I'm legitimately interested.

I often take my Macbook Air and sit at Starbucks for a few hours working. It's really handy to have the iPad usable as a second monitor.
 
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xav8tor

macrumors 6502a
Mar 30, 2011
504
6
What would someone use this for? This isn't a stab at the software... I just can't think of a use for it, and I'm legitimately interested.

Extended display/2nd monitor for static docs/images, low cost LCD tablet/stylus input device. Works great for me.
 
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Works4Me

macrumors regular
Aug 29, 2007
216
320
Canada
Using it now. Sure, it's a bit laggy, so you might not want to watch videos, but it's fine for Mail, and, in my case, a folder in the Finder I need to see easily... Really happy to have it!
 
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analogkid

macrumors regular
Jun 9, 2003
109
0
Savannah
What would someone use this for? This isn't a stab at the software... I just can't think of a use for it, and I'm legitimately interested.

I use my iPad as my only monitor for my quad Mini with this app... Very little lag if set up right and you are close to the computer. Works great for me.
 
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Moonjumper

macrumors 68020
Jun 20, 2009
2,356
2,072
Lincoln, UK
I can see uses for this app, but my main interest in this story is how useable HiDPI is, so increasing they likelihood of retina Macs.
 
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KylePowers

macrumors 68000
Mar 5, 2011
1,688
197
Neato! I might spring for this some day, maybe when it's on sale lol

I often times use my iPad as a second 'monitor' to my MBA, but only in the sense that I'll pull up a website or pdf file or some other document from Dropbox and use it as reference as I type on my MBA. It works pretty nicely, and there's no additional cost to do it :)

But, I certainly see the advantages of this app. I just can't put any good uses to it (in respect to my work flow).
 
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neott

macrumors newbie
Mar 13, 2010
18
0
Just updated both the iPad and mac client....

This is soooo laggy, But incredibly crisp.

An idea of what you can cram onto the screen:



Click to enlarge and bear in mind that this is on a 10" screen o_O
(I'm not really looking at the HiDPI mode here just demonstrating usage!)

I have been using this with Xcode for awhile now to view data models etc, would defo recommend it. Super crisp fonts and totally usable for stuff that you don't need a good refresh rate on ;)

Very very nice!
 
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