Duet Air Gains New Feature That Lets You Use a Mac or PC as a Secondary Display

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Apple in macOS Catalina introduced a new Sidecar feature that lets the iPad be used as a secondary display for a Mac, something that third-party companies have been doing for some time with products like Duet Display and Luna Display.

With Sidecar now available for the iPad, Duet has adapted and introduced new functionality that's not available with Sidecar - namely using an additional Mac or PC as a secondary display.


As of today, Duet Air, the software that turns the iPad into a secondary display for a Mac, also works with a second Mac or PC.

That means if you have an extra MacBook or PC, you can use Duet Air to turn it into a wireless second display or a mirrored display for your main Mac. This is functionality that's not available with Apple's Sidecar implementation.

Duet Air also allows iOS devices, Macs, or PCs to remote desktop into other devices from anywhere in the world, and Duet says that the update works with "minimal latency."

Over the course of the next year, Duet has pledged to continue improving its algorithms and customizability, and there are a long list of new features in the works that will make Duet Air more compelling in 2020.

Article Link: Duet Air Gains New Feature That Lets You Use a Mac or PC as a Secondary Display
 

rahulda1

macrumors member
Jul 30, 2016
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We appreciate the kind words!

Luckily, we worked hard to add support for Windows (half of iPad users), Android (most mobile users), and desktop to desktop. We also support over a hundred million iPads & Macs even Apple does not, but we are finding a lot of people choosing us even on new hardware where Sidecar exists.

We are focused on professional customers that use the product every day, and they often prefer the additional features & customization we offer.
 

Amazing Iceman

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Nov 8, 2008
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UPDATE: Neither of the two apps I mentioned below provide for a way to access your Mac remotely. Only act as a second monitor. So Duet Air has a big advantage over other solutions out there.

Mmmm.. I have been able do this for years with 5KPlayer (free) or AirServer (one time fee of 7.99 to 19.99 depending on license).
Both work great, no need to pay for a subscription forever.
 
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rahulda1

macrumors member
Jul 30, 2016
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Mmmm.. I have been able do this for years with 5KPlayer (free) or AirServer (one time fee of 7.99 to 19.99 depending on license).
Both work great, no need to pay for a subscription forever.
Neither of these support remote desktop, are as cross-platform compatible, or are very fast (AirPlay is notoriously buggy and slow) among other features. I also think the main purpose is using your Mac as a mirrored display for your iOS device? Not sure why you keep writing this in the comments of every press article about Duet.
 

hinleyw12

macrumors newbie
Sep 16, 2019
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We appreciate the kind words!

Luckily, we worked hard to add support for Windows (half of iPad users), Android (most mobile users), and desktop to desktop. We also support over a hundred million iPads & Macs even Apple does not, but we are finding a lot of people choosing us even on new hardware where Sidecar exists.

We are focused on professional customers that use the product every day, and they often prefer the additional features & customization we offer.
Hey man,

if you’re responsible for Duet, I just wanted to stop a minute and tell you guys you do great work. Even whenever a company as big as Apple tried to offer a similar feature, you found a way to improve Duet and it’s feature set. Being a developer of original products in this era can be quite PITA, but you guys constantly bring your A game. Keep up the good work, stay golden, and keep bringing great new features.
 

Amazing Iceman

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Nov 8, 2008
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Neither of these support remote desktop, are as cross-platform compatible, or are very fast (AirPlay is notoriously buggy and slow) among other features. I also think the main purpose is using your Mac as a mirrored display for your iOS device? Not sure why you keep writing this in the comments of every press article about Duet.
You are correct... I have edited my comment.
 

Sirmausalot

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Sep 1, 2007
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Does this mean I can use an older iMac as a display powered by my newer MacBook pro?
 

rahulda1

macrumors member
Jul 30, 2016
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Hey man,

if you’re responsible for Duet, I just wanted to stop a minute and tell you guys you do great work. Even whenever a company as big as Apple tried to offer a similar feature, you found a way to improve Duet and it’s feature set. Being a developer of original products in this era can be quite PITA, but you guys constantly bring your A game. Keep up the good work, stay golden, and keep bringing great new features.
I did create Duet but am now just a small part of the amazing team that delivers those features and is responsible for the current success. Thanks for the support and kind words...can't wait to show you what we will deliver next year.
- - Post merged: - -

Does this mean I can use an older iMac as a display powered by my newer MacBook pro?
Yes it does...even if you have a PC :)
 

whyamihere

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Jun 30, 2008
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I did create Duet but am now just a small part of the amazing team that delivers those features and is responsible for the current success.
I read the article, but the wording just seems unclear to me... does this update allow an iPad to be a secondary display to a Windows laptop (with no Mac involved whatsoever)? If not, is that something you guys are working on?
 
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pdaholic

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Jun 22, 2011
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I recently pulled out my old iPad 3 and used Duet to create an extended screen for my 2013 MacBook Pro. It worked! I can’t even use the Dropbox app on the old operating system of that iPad, yet I could still use the device with Duet. I was actually able to watch movies at a respectable frame rate on the iPad. I can’t even use Sidecar with the latest operating system on my “ancient” MacBook. Sadly, that iPad crapped out after a few days of use, but I’m pretty impressed with Duet. Great software.
 

gfbane

macrumors newbie
Feb 28, 2013
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How well would this work between two macs if one is connected to a VPN and the other is not? I have 2 15" macbooks, one for work and one personal and my personal one is not allowed to connect to my work VPN.
 

Anonymous Freak

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Dec 12, 2002
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Still a regular user of Duet. My MacBook Pro is too old for Sidecar, my iPad Air is too old for Sidecar, and my work Windows laptop obviously can't use Sidecar.

So Duet on both laptops, and on the iPad Air, gets me my on-the-go second display. Thanks rahulda1!
 
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rahulda1

macrumors member
Jul 30, 2016
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Do both Macs need to run the same macOS?

(Sierra on my 2013 iMac, Catalina on the 16" MBP).

I was just looking into a thunderbolt > thunderbolt 3 dongle, I would rather restort to that.

Thank you in advance for doing this. :)
So, you can't use a wired cable (it is wireless only), and both do not need to be on the same macOS (but it is 10.14.4+ for now). We will eventually add older macOS support but there were a few complications
- - Post merged: - -

How well would this work between two macs if one is connected to a VPN and the other is not? I have 2 15" macbooks, one for work and one personal and my personal one is not allowed to connect to my work VPN.
That really depends on the speed of the VPN. It should function, but the data will have to go through your company's servers so it will add latency.

If both Macs are 2018+, it could still work pretty well.
 

kazmac

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Mar 24, 2010
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Any place but here or there....
So, you can't use a wired cable (it is wireless only), and both do not need to be on the same macOS (but it is 10.14.4+ for now). We will eventually add older macOS support but there were a few complications
- - Post merged: - -



That really depends on the speed of the VPN. It should function, but the data will have to go through your company's servers so it will add latency.

If both Macs are 2018+, it could still work pretty well.
Thank you for the response.
 

markaceto

macrumors 6502
Jun 8, 2017
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I did create Duet but am now just a small part of the amazing team that delivers those features and is responsible for the current success. Thanks for the support and kind words...can't wait to show you what we will deliver next year.
I love a good middle-out compression story ;)

Keep up the great work!
 
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redheeler

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Oct 17, 2014
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There needs to be a non-subscription (one-time purchase) option for when both Macs are in close proximity and connected to the same local network. It looks like there is for Mac-to-iOS, but not for Mac-to-Mac screen sharing. Until then this is of no interest to me.
 
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Sirmausalot

macrumors 65816
Sep 1, 2007
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I used Duet Air trial running a new MacBook Pro 16 and tried to use my 2015 iMac as a secondary display. Unusable. Super laggy, super compressed. Anyone else give it a go?
 

redheeler

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Oct 17, 2014
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The subscription price looks reasonable if I wanted to use the remote desktop functionality though, rather than simply using another Mac as a side-by-side second display.
 

mijail

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Oct 31, 2010
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I am a Duet Display customer and I am pretty glad that Apple jumped into the fray, because the Duet people needed a good awakening. For long time stretches the app has been absurdly buggy and contacting them didn't help at all.

I am talking about details as prosaic as the Mac app saying it was up-to-date even though a new version had been available for weeks. It is so bad that I still have a Firefox add-on periodically checking their Release Notes page to be able to find updates.
Or updates not working once installed, and support only giving a canned response and then falling silent.

So yeah, I'm still not using Sidecar just because I'm waiting until 10.15 sounds less buggy. We'll see then.
 

rahulda1

macrumors member
Jul 30, 2016
45
74
I am a Duet Display customer and I am pretty glad that Apple jumped into the fray, because the Duet people needed a good awakening. For long time stretches the app has been absurdly buggy and contacting them didn't help at all.

I am talking about details as prosaic as the Mac app saying it was up-to-date even though a new version had been available for weeks. It is so bad that I still have a Firefox add-on periodically checking their Release Notes page to be able to find updates.
Or updates not working once installed, and support only giving a canned response and then falling silent.

So yeah, I'm still not using Sidecar just because I'm waiting until 10.15 sounds less buggy. We'll see then.
Thanks for being a duet customer! Also, I want to mention - prior to Apple releasing Sidecar, macOS had several critical bugs between 10.13.4 to 10.14.1 which caused some instability.

Also for the update check - sorry about this. It isn't a bug, but rather we are *really* conservative about the updater as we don't want to break anyone's working setup for feature updates until we are sure. This process can sometimes take weeks or months depending on the changes. We have heard this complaint a few times and think we have a healthier balance in the current version (manual check for updates will force the latest version possibly with a note on how significant changes are, but auto-updater will be conservative).