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Avatron, the company behind popular secondary display app Air Display 2 today launched an updated version of the software, Air Display 3. Like Air Display 2, Air Display 3 allows users to turn their iPads, iPhones, or iPod touches into secondary displays for their computers, but Air Display 3 has an important new feature -- an option to connect an iOS device to a computer over USB.

Previous iterations of AirDisplay have been forced to work over WiFi (which made using AirDisplay laggy and unreliable) because for a long time, Apple rejected apps that used a USB connection. Apple relaxed its policies on apps accessing USB earlier this year when it approved Duet Display, paving the way for apps like AirDisplay to incorporate the same technology for more solid connections that cut down on lag.

airdisplay3-800x344.jpg
In our limited testing, AirDisplay 3 used over USB worked well, with little lag, and its performance was comparable to Duet Display. There's still an option to connect over WiFi if USB is not available, but using WiFi was considerably more unreliable with a lot more of a delay when attempting to perform tasks.

In addition to USB support, Air Display 3 has also gained features from Avatron's Air Stylus app, which is being retired. Air Stylus was designed to allow people to use their iPads as pressure sensitive wireless drawing tablets in conjunction with Mac or PC-based computers, and that capability has been added to Air Display 3.
We're retiring our Air Stylus iOS app and we've rolled all of its awesome features into Air Display 3. Now you can draw with your favorite pressure-sensitive stylus directly into a Mac app like Photoshop or Motion. In Air Display 3, we've added support for all of the latest styluses. And on iOS 8, you don't even need a stylus: just tilt your finger to simulate pressure changes.
Air Display 3 also gains support for pinch and zoom gestures, and according to the release notes, its WiFi features have been sped up as well. Older features like multiple monitor support (for up to four iPads), a keyboard, HiDPI options, and touch gestures are also available.

Air Display 3, which is a new app and not an upgrade from AirDisplay 2, can be downloaded from the iOS App Store for $14.99. [Direct Link]

Users will also need to download a free Mac app from the Avatron website to connect their iOS devices to their Macs. For the time being, Air Display 3 is only compatible with Macs running OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion and above, but Avatron has plans to add Windows support in the future.

Article Link: Avatron Launches 'Air Display 3' for iOS With New USB Connection Option
 

Rudy69

macrumors 6502a
Mar 30, 2009
731
1,781
Duet is on sale right now so I would get that instead. At regular price for both I don't know which one I would suggest though
 
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macduke

macrumors G4
Jun 27, 2007
11,692
16,216
Central U.S.
Coincidence that Duet is on sale today for half price? I think not. :D

Duet was made by former Apple engineers. I'd trust them over Air Display any day. Air Display was neat back in the day on the non-retina iPad but was still laggy and needed WiFi. It's cool that they've added a corded option, and competition is always a good thing. But for me right now nothing beats Duet on my iPad Air 2.

I've never bought a new app and seamlessly integrated it into my entire work day like I have with Duet. It's hooked up to my iMac 9 hours per day. I can unhook it and run to a meeting and bonus, it's 100% charged. When I come back, all my windows and spaces are back on the iPad within a couple seconds of connecting. I can even multitask through a couple other apps on my iPad and come back and it's still connected. It's fast and helps me be more productive. In my testing with an iPad Mini 1st gen, however, it can be laggy and a little slow. But newer iPads work great.
 
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blcamp

macrumors regular
May 16, 2012
209
401
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
Windows Support? Nvidia Support?

I would consider getting it if it would work on my Dell Laptop which has an Nvidia 630.

I had bought Air Display 2, but it never worked properly.
 
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Sunday Ironfoot

macrumors regular
Apr 14, 2011
208
381
I tried Air Display before but had to stop using since it disables GPU acceleration (or seriously diminishes it) on the Mac while active, even on the main display. (it's mentioned in their FAQ).

I wonder if newer iPad-as-second-display apps have fixed this?
 
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Sunday Ironfoot

macrumors regular
Apr 14, 2011
208
381
I tried Air Display before but had to stop using since it disables GPU acceleration (or seriously diminishes it) on the Mac while active, even on the main display. (it's mentioned in their FAQ).

I wonder if newer iPad-as-second-display apps have fixed this?

From Avatron's FAQ (for Air Display 1 & 2):

Photoshop CS4 and higher uses hardware acceleration.

Air Display can not use GPU/OpenGL hardware accelerated rendering. Air Display is a virtualized display adapter which prevents it from interacting with any hardware at all.

You can fix this by turning Open GL support off in your settings.

Checking the FAQ for AirDisplay 3, it seems this is still the case which makes this app a no go for me.
 
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dz-015

macrumors newbie
Jun 18, 2010
19
5
After the money I wasted on Air Display only to find out that its promised Retina support was broken and never fixed, they won't be getting any more of my cash.

Duet Display does a great job, so I'm sticking with that.
 
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iLilana

macrumors 6502a
May 5, 2003
789
279
Alberta, Canada
Aw well, I just bought Duet Display 4 hours ago.

you will be happier with duet. I bought the original air display and it as cool. latency was not. paying full price for 2 made no sense and another 17 dollars for 3. When I saw Duet I just dropped air display. It was way better.
 
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3square

macrumors regular
Jul 10, 2014
173
61
compatibility with older OSX

sadly it comes down to compatibility for me. Will only be using this at my work, and we are still on 10.8 =(. I tried out Duet, which works well but it's only supporting 10.9+.

something no one brought up is the added feature of Air Stylus. Which is what Astropad does, and it works flawlessly. Also build by ex-apple employees. But again, only supporting 10.9+

Whereas Air Display 3 said to work with 10.8+

------------Update------------
Just got the air display 3. Works just as well as Duet. running well on 10.8 ML.

no lags over USB, for regular display mode
However it is laggy in Retina mode and HiDPI mode.

one caveat is that for the air stylus to work, you need to be using those active stylus. So i couldn't test that feature at all with my finger/non-active stylus.
 
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needfx

Suspended
Aug 10, 2010
3,931
4,242
macrumors apparently
I had bought airdisplay in the past but was bummed by the wifi dependency and having to vpn it if no wifi was available.

I bought duet though after reading comments on this thread, so thanks!
 
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Kajje

macrumors 6502a
Dec 6, 2012
722
958
Asia
Mommy told me, don't pay for beta's. But I didn't listen.

I also fell in the Avatron trap and bought their Air Display beta 2.

Now I won't make the same mistake twice and swipe the card again for beta 3.

I'm happy with Duet.
 
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MacBH928

macrumors 604
May 17, 2008
6,538
2,714
Duet was made by former Apple engineers. I'd trust them over Air Display any day. Air Display was neat back in the day on the non-retina iPad but was still laggy and needed WiFi. It's cool that they've added a corded option, and competition is always a good thing. But for me right now nothing beats Duet on my iPad Air 2.

what is the ma you are running duet display? I have core2duo macbook 08 and I am afraid it is not good enough to run duet display
 
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japanime

macrumors 68020
Feb 27, 2006
2,298
2,716
Japan
Are there any apps that do the opposite — mirror an iPad display onto a Macintosh using USB. (I know there are Airplay-style applications such as AirServer that do this, but I'm looking for a tethered solution.)
 
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macduke

macrumors G4
Jun 27, 2007
11,692
16,216
Central U.S.
what is the ma you are running duet display? I have core2duo macbook 08 and I am afraid it is not good enough to run duet display

I'm actually interested to know how much the speed of the Mac affects performance. My development iPad Mini 1st gen doesn't run it very well, but much better than WiFi.

I've mostly been running it on my work iMac, which is a 3.4GHz Core i7 with 16GB of RAM from 2013. rMBP specs are in my sig.
 
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jace88

macrumors regular
Jan 3, 2011
228
28
Sydney, Australia
Another alternative for non Mac users would be twomonusb. I've actually had a very positive experience with both the app itself, and the very prompt and responsive tech support, even though the official twomonusb website appears to be in Korean.

It uses the DisplayLink drivers so works even on my heavily locked down work laptop for a nice three screen set up. You can click on buttons/etc on the iPad screen like a touch screen however it doesn't support more advanced gestures like a true Windows touch screen (e.g. flicks).
 
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