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EtherealMAC

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 26, 2011
59
20
Hi,

I got a M2 iPP 12.9 as a replacement for my aging macbook and now I have mysights set on a desktop.

I really like the idea, specs and form factor of the new M2 Pro Mac Mini, but if I buy it it's gonna take a while for me to save money for a worthwhile monitor for it ( the iPP gor me spoiled with its nice screen).

In the meantime, thinking of using the 12.9 iPP as a sole main display, and found out that it can be done via two methods:

1 - With an app called Duet Display (wired only)

or

2- Luna Display, which is a hardware dongle that allows it to be main display both wired or on wireless mode.

My questions are:

1- Anybody using any of these solutions? Your thoughts/ experiences with it?

2- Any other solution/app that would allow me to do what I want to do?

3- It is my understanding that SideCar only works as a secondary display, correct? It cannot be ised to make the iPP a main, right?

Thanks in advance,
 

FreakinEurekan

macrumors 603
Sep 8, 2011
5,873
2,860
Why not headless, and use an app to remote into it? I did that for several years with a Mac mini and iPad, using the app “Screens.”
 
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cis4life

macrumors regular
Apr 4, 2008
211
62
Why not headless, and use an app to remote into it? I did that for several years with a Mac mini and iPad, using the app “Screens.”
Totally agree,
I use this method now. I have a Mac Studio (headless) (Mac mini Prior) that I remote in into ALL THE TIME via Jump Desktop and this has been working for me flawlessly for years.
 
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EtherealMAC

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 26, 2011
59
20
Thank you for your replies,

So I gather thst besides Duet Display and Luna Display there's two other Apps that would allow me to do this, namely "Screens" and "Jump Desktop", right?

Any other apps/ solutions? In the process of researching them all to make an informed decision before buying the Mini
 

FreakinEurekan

macrumors 603
Sep 8, 2011
5,873
2,860
So I gather thst besides Duet Display and Luna Display there's two other Apps that would allow me to do this, namely "Screens" and "Jump Desktop", right?
They’re different solutions. Duet and Luna turn your iPad into “The Display.” You still need a keyboard & mouse specifically for the Mac, and the iPad has to be nearby.

Using a Remote Desktop solution like Screens, Jump, VNC, etc. etc. etc (there are tons of them) can work from anywhere, and you can use the iPad as the keyboard & mouse (either touchscreen, or external keyboard/trackpad like I have with my Magic Keyboard on my iPad Pro).
 

EtherealMAC

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 26, 2011
59
20
They’re different solutions. Duet and Luna turn your iPad into “The Display.” You still need a keyboard & mouse specifically for the Mac, and the iPad has to be nearby.

Using a Remote Desktop solution like Screens, Jump, VNC, etc. etc. etc (there are tons of them) can work from anywhere, and you can use the iPad as the keyboard & mouse (either touchscreen, or external keyboard/trackpad like I have with my Magic Keyboard on my iPad Pro).
Oooooooh, I see ........ interesting. Yeah, then definetely the Remote Desktop solution is what I'd be after.

So ok, to surmise what has been said so far:

If I wanted the 12.9 iPP just to be "the Display" then I need to look into:

- Duet Display,
- Luna Display
- Splashtop

If I wanted it not just to be a display but also a control interface to use my MacMini remotely, then I'd need to look into:

- Screens
- Jump Desktop
- VNC
- (What others do u guys recommend? I'm starting to research them all....)

Thanks in advance
 

leifp

macrumors 6502
Feb 8, 2008
400
381
Canada
I recently attempted Luna Display as a solution to using my 2014 5K iMac as a monitor for my M1Max laptop. While it worked, I'm very sensitive to motion corruption (blur, jaggies, etc) and the display reacts with a very slight lag. Otherwise, great! But not for me... so I bit the bullet, bought the Studio Display, and will sell the iMac to recoup some of the costs. (I debated gutting the iMac and turning it into a Studio Display but I don't have the required setup to make it so and am not willing to sacrifice other elements of my lifestyle to make it so)

In other words: if you don't mind (or better yet, don't notice!) interface lag, the Luna Display could be an inexpensive way to cover you until you can afford the monitor you really want.

Perhaps interesting aside: I actually have my iPP 12.9" hooked up to the display to see if I can make a go of that without going a bit **** (still at the start of the learning curve)
 

darngooddesign

macrumors P6
Jul 4, 2007
18,140
9,832
Atlanta, GA
I was researching this a year or two back, went with a new MBP instead, Luna was very responsive about responding to questions. Most of the app solutions require you needing a display in case you have to administer the Mac. The Luna dongle makes the Mac truly headless in that you don't need anything else if you need to administer the app; however, you need to have auto login turned on.
 

dockgaze

macrumors member
Feb 10, 2022
91
112
Do any of these Remote Desktop applications (Splashtop, JumpDesktop etc) wake the Mac from sleep for remote access . . . . and then have the ability to remotely (and securely) put back into ‘sleep’ ? Or must the main desktop unit (M1 MacMini in my case) always remain on and open?
 

Digitalguy

macrumors 601
Apr 15, 2019
4,472
4,248
Do any of these Remote Desktop applications (Splashtop, JumpDesktop etc) wake the Mac from sleep for remote access . . . . and then have the ability to remotely (and securely) put back into ‘sleep’ ? Or must the main desktop unit (M1 MacMini in my case) always remain on and open?
yes they can
 

dockgaze

macrumors member
Feb 10, 2022
91
112
Digging a little deeper into this issue . . . . Anyone have experience with this dongle setup device:

 

Digitalguy

macrumors 601
Apr 15, 2019
4,472
4,248
Concerning second display app (Luna, Duet pro and Sidecar), I made a comparison here some time ago... https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/sidecar-on-macos-12-3-two-ipads-at-once.2340651/post-31012875

Concerning remote desktop, it really depends on what your priorities are.
In general Jump desktop is the best and it's a one time purchase. For video watching etc. Splashtop is the best (highest framerate and stable audio) but it's a bit less sharp than Jump and while it's free for home use, it's subscription only for remote access outside the home network.
Remember, these system work best with a keyboard and trackpad, touch input is somewhat compromised comapred to native iPad touch input...
Also shapness is a bit compromised compared to a native monitor or even to a second display app, and general connection stability will depend on the strength of the Internet signal.
Lastly, when not connected to a monitor the Mac Mini tends to output a 16.9 screen and these apps sometimes won't manage to change that remotely (the workaround I use is to mirror the iPad via sidecar and then use remote desktop, which works well at home, not tried it remotely).
Also to be noted, RD it's pretty heavy on (iPad) battery life, especially when watching content.
 
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dockgaze

macrumors member
Feb 10, 2022
91
112
Concerning second display app (Luna, Duet pro and Sidecar), I made a comparison here some time ago... https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/sidecar-on-macos-12-3-two-ipads-at-once.2340651/post-31012875

Concerning remote desktop, it really depends on what your priorities are.
In general Jump desktop is the best and it's a one time purchase. For video watching etc. Splashtop is the best (highest framerate and stable audio) but it's a bit less sharp than Jump and while it's free for home use, it's subscription only for remote access outside the home network.
Remember, these system work best with a keyboard and trackpad, touch input is somewhat compromised comapred to native iPad touch input...
Also shapness is a bit compromised compared to a native monitor or even to a second display app, and general connection stability will depend on the strength of the Internet signal.
Lastly, when not connected to a monitor the Mac Mini tends to output a 16.9 screen and these apps sometimes won't manage to change that remotely (the workaround I use is to mirror the iPad via sidecar and then use remote desktop, which works well at home, not tried it remotely).
Also to be noted, RD it's pretty heavy on (iPad) battery life, especially when watching content.
Thank you so much for all of your great info on this - - sometimes it’s just a maze of features but you really help separating wheat from chaff! Much appreciated. For my use I’m going with Jump Desktop . . . . seems to be the missing link I’ve been looking for between my M1 MM (mothership) and Ipad Air4 w/ Magic Keyboard (portable satellite). 👍😃
 
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EtherealMAC

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 26, 2011
59
20
Concerning second display app (Luna, Duet pro and Sidecar), I made a comparison here some time ago... https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/sidecar-on-macos-12-3-two-ipads-at-once.2340651/post-31012875

Concerning remote desktop, it really depends on what your priorities are.
In general Jump desktop is the best and it's a one time purchase. For video watching etc. Splashtop is the best (highest framerate and stable audio) but it's a bit less sharp than Jump and while it's free for home use, it's subscription only for remote access outside the home network.
Remember, these system work best with a keyboard and trackpad, touch input is somewhat compromised comapred to native iPad touch input...
Also shapness is a bit compromised compared to a native monitor or even to a second display app, and general connection stability will depend on the strength of the Internet signal.
Lastly, when not connected to a monitor the Mac Mini tends to output a 16.9 screen and these apps sometimes won't manage to change that remotely (the workaround I use is to mirror the iPad via sidecar and then use remote desktop, which works well at home, not tried it remotely).
Also to be noted, RD it's pretty heavy on (iPad) battery life, especially when watching content.

Thank you so much, this is precisely the kind of information I am after. Very much appreciated
 

EtherealMAC

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 26, 2011
59
20
For video watching etc. Splashtop is the best (highest framerate and stable audio)......
Also to be noted, RD it's pretty heavy on (iPad) battery life, especially when watching content...
Forgot to add that, in case anyone is considering using an iPP as a main display mostly for watching content stored in your main computer, then you should forget about Remote Desktop solutions such as Splashtop and use a media server app such as Plex instead.

What Plex does is that you tell to it where your media files are stored and then it automatically (and impressively accurately) classifies/organizes them, adding metadata, movie posters, synopsis, etc. Then you get the Plex app for the iPP (it's a one time purchase of like 7 UD or smth like that) and the app will stream it all leveraging iPadOS native support for 4k/8K HDR 10, Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos. I think it even supports DTX X. It's SO INCREDIBLY GOOD, that lately I have been favoring watching this type type of content on my iPP 12.9 instead than on my LG 55 inch Dolby Vision/Atmos TV, for the simple reason that the iPP does the colors and the HDR better than my TV.

About battery life.. well I haven't used any remote desktop solution yet ( likely will try Jump Desktop sometime soon) but I assume that media server solutions such as Plex should be theoretically easier on the battery than a Remote Desktop, dunno ...
 

Digitalguy

macrumors 601
Apr 15, 2019
4,472
4,248
Forgot to add that, in case anyone is considering using an iPP as a main display mostly for watching content stored in your main computer, then you should forget about Remote Desktop solutions such as Splashtop and use a media server app such as Plex instead.

What Plex does is that you tell to it where your media files are stored and then it automatically (and impressively accurately) classifies/organizes them, adding metadata, movie posters, synopsis, etc. Then you get the Plex app for the iPP (it's a one time purchase of like 7 UD or smth like that) and the app will stream it all leveraging iPadOS native support for 4k/8K HDR 10, Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos. I think it even supports DTX X. It's SO INCREDIBLY GOOD, that lately I have been favoring watching this type type of content on my iPP 12.9 instead than on my LG 55 inch Dolby Vision/Atmos TV, for the simple reason that the iPP does the colors and the HDR better than my TV.

About battery life.. well I haven't used any remote desktop solution yet ( likely will try Jump Desktop sometime soon) but I assume that media server solutions such as Plex should be theoretically easier on the battery than a Remote Desktop, dunno ...
I do use Plex to stream my local videos to iPads (and any other device). And I watch youtube and other streaming services directly from the iPad, not via remote desktop. Where RD can come useful is with older iPads that are either sluggish or don't run apps anymore. For instance. Splashtop can allow someone to use an iPad 2 with youtube or other videos from a Mac or a PC (or browse or do anything) and it will run basically as fast a the chip in the Mac.
 

FreakinEurekan

macrumors 603
Sep 8, 2011
5,873
2,860
Oooooooh, I see ........ interesting. Yeah, then definetely the Remote Desktop solution is what I'd be after.

So ok, to surmise what has been said so far:

If I wanted the 12.9 iPP just to be "the Display" then I need to look into:

- Duet Display,
- Luna Display
- Splashtop

If I wanted it not just to be a display but also a control interface to use my MacMini remotely, then I'd need to look into:

- Screens
- Jump Desktop
- VNC
- (What others do u guys recommend? I'm starting to research them all....)

Thanks in advance
Screens, Jump, VNC do not make the iPad “The display.” They let the iPad remotely access the Mac mini - or an iMac - or a MacBook - or whatever. Maybe you understand this, but the terminology you’re using makes me think you might not.

When I kept my Mac mini headless, I mainly used the iPad just to access Mac-specific apps that I needed occasionally. Like others mentioned, if you tried to watch videos from a Remote Desktop… well, don’t watch videos from a Remote Desktop. It’d be silly. But I assume you have a purpose in mind for the Mac, and as long as it’s not video production ;) Remote Desktop could be a good solution.
 

Eddierandom

macrumors newbie
Feb 22, 2023
1
2
Yes, I run an m2 MacBook on Ventura natively from my IPP m1. Wireless. MacBook closed but connected to powered usbc hub. Bluetooth mouse and keyboard, Apple Pencil and a 3d mouse. I can also switch between iPad mode flawlessly and run its apps and then tap the icon that takes me back to my Mac. It’s a really cool feature I’ve been waiting for. Especially for using Blender and the likes. I finally have the power and freedom of both devices and their accessories, wirelessly. No app required. 🥳
 

Harmonious Zen

macrumors 6502a
May 18, 2013
860
535
Yes, I run an m2 MacBook on Ventura natively from my IPP m1. Wireless. MacBook closed but connected to powered usbc hub. Bluetooth mouse and keyboard, Apple Pencil and a 3d mouse. I can also switch between iPad mode flawlessly and run its apps and then tap the icon that takes me back to my Mac. It’s a really cool feature I’ve been waiting for. Especially for using Blender and the likes. I finally have the power and freedom of both devices and their accessories, wirelessly. No app required. 🥳
How exactly are you doing this? Really no app required?
 

jhscann

macrumors newbie
Jan 25, 2011
5
0
Through trial and error I found an alternative approach to solve this. It's a little fiddly, but once you have the hang of it, it's easy and the results are good.

Initially, you do need to plug into a monitor (e.g. TV) and then install RealVNC on both your Mac and iPad and test dialling in whilst connected to your TV. Make sure you can see the Mac desktop on your iPad. This looks like crap - don't worry it's just part of setup.

You will need a HDMI display emulator (€10-15) which fools the Mac into thinking a monitor is plugged in. You will need something this or RealVNC will not work later: https://fit-iot.com/web/product/fit-headless-gs/ is what I used.

Then you can unplug the monitor and plug in the HDMI display emulator. From your iPad connect to the Mac over RealVNC. in the Displays settings, Mirror to iPad (not extend) and set Optimise for iPad so the full iPad screen is used. One bonus is that your Apple Pencil will work with Mac apps, which I really like for Audio Editing apps.

One other thing, sadly you will need to deactivate FileVault if you want this to work after a reboot. FileVault prevents apps from loading before login as a security precaution. It's fine for me but it could be show stopper for some people.
After a reboot I sometimes have to re-connect over RealVNC and re-mirror to iPad in settings, but most of the time I just let my Mac sleep so when I wiggle the mouse or press a key the mirroring to iPad starts by itself. Not always, so it's not perfect but good enough.
 
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