Duet Display's Latest Update Adds a Touch Bar to Your iPad

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Apr 12, 2001
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Duet Display, the app that turns an iPad into a second display for a Mac, was today updated with a handy new feature that gives you iPad Touch Bar access, even when you don't have a Mac with a Touch Bar.

The Duet Display app is able to tap into the MacBook Pro's Touch Bar software, displaying a virtual Touch Bar on your iPad's screen. The iPad Touch Bar mirrors the MacBook Pro's Touch Bar on a model with a Touch Bar, and when used with a MacBook Pro that doesn't have a Touch Bar, it lets you tap into functionality that would otherwise be unavailable.

When used with Photoshop on the Mac, for example, the iPad serving as a second display will include a Touch Bar at the bottom of the screen, with the same exact controls you would see on the MacBook Pro Touch Bar.


Like the Touch Bar on the MacBook Pro, the virtual iPad Touch Bar will change contextually based on the app because it is tapping into actual MacBook Pro Touch Bar functionality.

It's a bit more cumbersome to use a Touch Bar on the iPad than it is on the Mac because it requires reaching over to tap on another screen, but it does unlock Touch Bar specific commands that are not accessible to those without a new MacBook Pro.


In some cases, when the Touch Bar option built into an app contains options that are normally hidden behind several screens, the iPad Touch Bar will be immensely useful. Many apps are still being updated with Touch Bar support, but in apps like Final Cut Pro and Photoshop, the Touch Bar is a highly valuable tool.

To use this feature, you will need macOS 10.12.2 and the updated versions of Duet Display for both the Mac and iOS, both of which are available today.

Also new in today's update is iPad keyboard support, so when Duet Display is used with an iPad Pro Smart Keyboard, it will work regardless of whether you're using it alongside a Mac or a PC.

Duet Display's Touch Bar support will be available for free to existing users. New users can download Duet Display for $9.99 for a limited time. [Direct Link]

Article Link: Duet Display's Latest Update Adds a Touch Bar to Your iPad
 

Dilster3k

macrumors 6502a
Jul 20, 2014
790
3,205
I'll be purchasing the next iPad 12-inch just to use this app with my MacBook Pro. These guys are fantastic, this plus Apple Pen support is really great.
 
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fyun89

macrumors 6502
Oct 3, 2014
326
295
This has the potential for tremendous awesomeness. Until Apple shuts it down, of course (and I understand why they might do that)
Hopefully they understand this could add sales to iPads for the usefulness.
 

Wayfarer

macrumors 65816
Jun 15, 2007
1,186
391
Revolutionary! Forward-thinking! Courageous! :eek: ...oh wait, this isn't an Apple product. Never mind.
 
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bbeagle

macrumors 68040
Oct 19, 2010
3,399
2,648
Buffalo, NY
I love this! $10 and I can use touchbar functionality without owning the new MacBook Pros. PLUS, I can use this the way I normally use my laptop - in clamshell mode connected to two monitors.

Seems to work wonderfully. It's updating text on the touchbar as I type now to complete words.

Now, I'll see if this touchbar thing is actually useful at all...
 
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djeeyore25

macrumors 6502
Dec 23, 2014
411
1,358
New York City
I hope they fixed the sleep issues with Duet Display that came about with Sierra. Otherwise, great program. The touchbar feature will tide me over until Apple makes a keyboard with touchbar built in for desktops.
 
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rahulda1

macrumors member
Jul 30, 2016
46
81
I hope they fixed the sleep issues with Duet Display that came about with Sierra. Otherwise, great program. The touchbar feature will tide me over until Apple makes a keyboard with touchbar built in for desktops.
Hey, I'm really sorry about this issue, but it is a macOS Sierra bug on some machines. If you have it, I highly recommend submitting a radar to Apple (bugreport.apple.com) as they probably just need more diagnostic information/reports to prioritize the issue.
 

elf69

macrumors 68020
Jun 2, 2016
2,322
482
Cornwall UK
I never knew of Due Display before now.

now I want an ipad to play...
Damn why there have be so many cool things for apple.

This is why I turned to apple from windows, plus i love gadgets lol
 

Richdmoore

macrumors 68000
Jul 24, 2007
1,808
267
Troutdale, OR
When I tried duet display a while ago on my 2011 iMac, it messed up the ability to airplay to an Apple TV. The developers said basically it is an issue apple needed to fix in the OS.

I haven't tried it lately, has apple/duet developers figured out a solution or work around yet? I would love to try using duet display again, but not at the expense of losing airplay.
 
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rahulda1

macrumors member
Jul 30, 2016
46
81
When I tried duet display a while ago on my 2011 iMac, it messed up the ability to airplay to an Apple TV. The developers said basically it is an issue apple needed to fix in the OS.

I haven't tried it lately, has apple/duet developers figured out a solution or work around yet? I would love to try using duet display again, but not at the expense of losing airplay.
Nope, there is nothing we can do :( Have to file reports with Apple at bugreport.apple.com to help them prioritize
 

TheRealByter

macrumors newbie
Dec 20, 2016
6
2
I always wanted Duet but couldn't justify the price. I think they lowered it recently? So even if not, touch bar was a reason for me to buy. Sadly, I have duel screen now on my mid 2014 MBP, but no touch bar functionality... Am I alone?
 

tazinlwfl

macrumors regular
Jul 14, 2008
219
154
Florida
I wanted to like Duet - I spent some time comparing competing apps. I have an 5K iMac as my primary device, but a Win10 PC for my work and it nearly bricked my GPUs (dual RX 470s). It took me nearly the entire day to get it back up and running. Duet worked fine on my iMac, but I only purchased it a couple weeks ago and I've barely touched it since. It also messed up AirPlay to my ATV4 for a bit.

I've already asked Apple for a refund - spending $20 just a couple weeks ago for something that was cumbersome and then put on sale is irritating.
 
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macduke

macrumors G4
Jun 27, 2007
10,920
14,606
Central U.S.
WOW this is amazing. I never would have thought of doing this. After Christmas I'm definitely going to take the time to finally upgrade my work iMac to Sierra.

For those saying Apple will block this, it might be tricky for them to do so. First of all, what is displayed on the iPad display is whatever the Mac is sending to it. The Duet Display companion app on the Mac is not from the Mac App Store. So the "Touch Bar" is actually a little software window open at the bottom of the "external display" that Duet Display creates and sends to the iPad over USB. So unless Apple takes down the iOS app entirely—even though it's just displaying what is on the Mac and not using any private APIs itself—then it should be fine. If I remember correctly, I think Apple has a good relationship with this company and has promoted the app before. Duet Display was developed by former Apple engineers who started their own software company, which is why it works so freaking well. I love it!
 

gwhizkids

macrumors 603
Jun 21, 2013
5,965
6,053
WOW this is amazing. I never would have thought of doing this. After Christmas I'm definitely going to take the time to finally upgrade my work iMac to Sierra.

For those saying Apple will block this, it might be tricky for them to do so. First of all, what is displayed on the iPad display is whatever the Mac is sending to it. The Duet Display companion app on the Mac is not from the Mac App Store. So the "Touch Bar" is actually a little software window open at the bottom of the "external display" that Duet Display creates and sends to the iPad over USB. So unless Apple takes down the iOS app entirely—even though it's just displaying what is on the Mac and not using any private APIs itself—then it should be fine. If I remember correctly, I think Apple has a good relationship with this company and has promoted the app before. Duet Display was developed by former Apple engineers who started their own software company, which is why it works so freaking well. I love it!
I hope you're correct about this. Counter argument for Apple attempting to take it down somehow is the $4-500 premium for this feature on the MBP. That's a powerful incentive to keep an exclusive feature exclusive.
 

macduke

macrumors G4
Jun 27, 2007
10,920
14,606
Central U.S.
I hope you're correct about this. Counter argument for Apple attempting to take it down somehow is the $4-500 premium for this feature on the MBP. That's a powerful incentive to keep an exclusive feature exclusive.
Even if they threaten to remove their iOS app if they don't change their Mac App, there are still utilities from third party apps that allow you to view and use the touch bar. You should be able to run those inside the secondary display on your iPad using the app the way it worked before. It's just a little less elegant.
 
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