Use iPad as standalone monitor for mac mini

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Chelmo, Mar 6, 2012.

  1. Chelmo macrumors regular

    May 21, 2010
    I have been using AirDisplay on my iPad to use my iPad as the only monitor for my mac mini.

    This only works through a WIFI network that my mac mini automatically connects to on start up. I can also connect them with an ad-hoc network which brings me to my question,

    Can an ad-hoc network be created automatically on each start up?

    If so I could connect my mac mini and iPad anywhere there is a power source if there is no WIFI available.

    Thanks, appreciate any info.
  2. shortcut3d macrumors 65816

    Aug 24, 2011
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A406 Safari/7534.48.3)

    I also have AirDisplay and have not been successful setting it up as the only display. I am very interested in doing something similar. Did this work in Windows 7 bootcamp as well? How is the lag compared to remote desktop?
  3. Litobandit macrumors newbie

    Feb 20, 2012
    How is the lag with air display? I would be interested in this as well
  4. Rideherhard macrumors 6502

    Aug 2, 2010
    What about using Splashtop? wouldn't that do what you want.
  5. Chelmo thread starter macrumors regular

    May 21, 2010
    AirDisplay works really well on an ad hoc network and on a good WIFI signal, at least from my experience. Comparing it to logmein (which is easier to set up if you just want the iPad as a monitor provided your mac mini automatically connects to an internet connection on startup) which is awfully slow, lag is unbearable!

    Again, if it is possible to have Mac mini automatically create ad-hoc network on startup than its possible to use iPad and mac mini together anywhere as long as there is a power source for the mac of course!

    Anyone know of a way to do this with Lion?


    Is Splashtop similar to logmein? might be laggy as well? Also would have to have internet connection for it


    You can only use iPad as the only display after doing the initial set up with a monitor. You can change Air Display settings on your mac to remember your iPad so whenever they're both on same wifi or ad-hoc network and you launch AirDisplay on your iPad your mac will automatically detect it and connect and if you set it to mirroring initially it should keep mirroring each time they connect (worked for me)
  6. GavWhite macrumors newbie

    Jul 16, 2011
    Any updates on this automatic ad-hoc network thing? I can set up my iPad and Mac mini over my Wi-Fi at home, works like a charm...

    But I'll be taking students to band camp in late summer. There's Wi-Fi in our staff cabin, and since I already use the iPad on the field, I'd like to take my '11 Mac mini for the cabin instead of my '07 MBP this year, which I'm pretty sure won't support Mountain Lion. The mini also has Sibelius and 3D Pyware if needed, and our collective staff iTunes collection (we load it all onto a single iPod plugged into the sound system, then we all take turns selecting the next song for water break on our individual iPads via Tunes Remote).

    Thing is, my Mac mini has never been to this camp before, so it won't connect to the Wi-Fi right away/automatically. I could really use a solution that allows my iPad to connect to it to then set up that Wi-Fi connection, without having to lug a screen down to camp (which defeats the purpose).
  7. McGilli macrumors 6502

    Nov 11, 2008

    Can't you make the Ad-Hoc network, and just not restart your Mini? Just sleep it all the time?

    If you are taking your Mini places with you.....


    Can you set the power management (through terminal commands) on the Mini to HIBERNATE instead of SLEEP?

    Hold on let's find out...
  8. GavWhite macrumors newbie

    Jul 16, 2011
    I don't think the Mini will stay in hibernation or sleep mode once you unplug it... unless you have an uninterruptible power supply that will last while you relocate the Mini to a place that's too inconvenient for real a monitor... but now we're just getting impractical...
  9. dolphin842 macrumors 65816

    Jul 14, 2004
    The point of hibernation mode is that your RAM gets written to disk, so no power is required to maintain the system's state. Assuming hibernation mode can get enabled, that may be an option.

    Another avenue to consider is using Location profiles under the Network preference pane. It may be possible to set up an "Out-n-about" network setting that defaults to opening an ad-hoc network when selected. That way, whenever you need to head out somewhere, just flip your location to "Out-n-about" before shutting down the mini, and it should remember it. Worth a try, at least.
  10. dmk1974 macrumors 68020


    Sep 16, 2008
    I'd like to be able to do this using AirDisplay with my 2011 Mac Mini and iPad 3 as well. At home it works fine since both are on the same WiFi network that they have been connected to previously. But lets say I take the Mini/iPad setup to a Starbucks or something that I have never been to, I am screwed because there's no way to get a display from the Mini. Even if you can set up an ad-hoc network on the Mini upon booting, doesn't that then mean that you cannot get on the internet for that session?

    Alternatively, is there any wire connection that can work between the Mini and the iPad? OR have the Mini and iPad talk via Bluetooth and then the Mini to the internet via Wifi?
  11. RobinHood5 macrumors regular

    Apr 23, 2012
    I use my iPad i as the sole display for a minecraft server computer through splashtop streamer. I also use splashtop xdisplay as a second monitor for my desktop.
  12. GavWhite macrumors newbie

    Jul 16, 2011
    We know that's possible, but the question is, were you able to connect the iPad upon startup without using a wired monitor, and is such a thing possible on a previously unknown Wi-Fi network or an ad-hoc network?
  13. analogkid macrumors regular

    Jun 9, 2003
    I've been using the ipad only monitor for a generation and it's worked pretty well. Using it in the way you describe, in my case as a dj, i had to carry a airport device, and in fact a second idevice. The new update of Airdisplay is snappy enough for video... Pretty cool-when ac is rolled out, this will make a more mainstream paradigm.
    Obviously network (ad hoc is best, but any non busy local will do) is critical, distance is the most important factor here. I switch to iTeleport when I'm too far away for my trackpad.
  14. oldmankit macrumors newbie

    Jun 14, 2012
    A solution is here

    I caught this awesome post which explains everything. They way he solves it is to have a script that is automatically run on start-up, which does all that needs to be done.
  15. Sanderdsz, Jun 14, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2012

    Sanderdsz macrumors newbie

    May 25, 2012
    Thanks so much for sharing that link... Awsome job they did, It just incresed my wish to buy a new mini.

    I got a question, there he shows how To use his studiowork or whatever is that... But that script works for the desktop itself? I mean the script also works with AirDisplay?
  16. LaunchpadBS macrumors 6502a

    Nov 11, 2008
    Well spotted, problem solved, mobile mac mini :)
  17. GavWhite macrumors newbie

    Jul 16, 2011
    This is fantastic!! Glad I check back in this topic... I'll be able to put it to use in exactly a week!

    Just to clarify, using an ad-hoc network means my Mini can't connect to a Wi-Fi router for Internet access, correct? It's no big deal, my iPad can connect via LTE (or probably just 3G down where I'll be at) for anything that I'll need off the Internet. But at least I'll be able to continue to sync my iPad and iPhone to my Mac Mini while I'm away, as well as use my Mac Mini without having to bring a monitor down with me.

    And again, I only need the ad-hoc network long enough for the Mac Mini to recognize the Wi-Fi at the location. Once the Mini is on and showing up on my iPad, I can just switch over to the local Wi-Fi on my Mini, then switch over on my iPad, and everything should work like normal, including Internet access? Sweet!

    EDIT: Wait! Noticed the codes provided work in Leopard, Snow Leopard, and Lion. I'm probably upgrading to Mountain Lion this weekend. Anyone know if the script works with Mountain Lion??
  18. airwalk331 macrumors newbie

    Mar 20, 2012
    Does this work? Has anyone done this?

    My MBP died last night and I've been thinking about getting a mac mini and an iPad and using the ipad as the main display for my mini.

    Is there any lag using the ipad as the main display?
  19. bjornte macrumors newbie

    Dec 18, 2012

    Just curious, do you think a HDMI-to-Lightning port accessory (plus bundled software) that turned iOS devices into cabled monitors would be approved by Apple? I have tried to find a small, battery-powered monitor for years without success. Such a cable would solve it.

    Cheers, Bjørn
  20. squirrrl macrumors 6502a


    Sep 11, 2013
    San Diego, CA
    Thunderbolt to lightning
    Very very frightening me!
    (Galileo) Galileo.
    (Galileo) Galileo,
    Galileo Figaro
  21. memeplex macrumors newbie

    Oct 30, 2014
    Hey Bjørn,

    Duet will offer that with your normal USB-to-Lightning cable included with the iPad / iPhone. You can enter your email to be notified of their launch this month.

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