Video: We Turned an iPad Pro Into a Mac Mini Display With the Luna Display Adapter

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Last week, the team behind the Luna Display adapter that's designed to turn the iPad into a second display for any Mac published an article outlining how the adapter was used to morph a current iPad Pro into a display for Apple's newest Mac mini.

The Mac mini ships sans display, which means if you have an iPad, it can be used as the Mac mini's sole display. We thought the idea was interesting, so we decided to try it out in our latest YouTube video.


The Luna Display is a little adapter that plugs into the USB-C port on your Mac (for older Macs, there's a Mini DisplayPort version). So to use the iPad Pro as a Mac mini display, you need to plug the adapter into the Mac mini and then download the appropriate software.

There's Luna software for both the iPad and the Mac, which you'll need to download to get this setup working. For setup, you're going to need a separate external display for the Mac mini so you can get the software installed, but once it's set up, the iPad Pro can be used as the only display.

Because the iPad and the adapter in the Mac mini work via WiFi, you'll need a strong connection for seamless performance and a zero lag experience.

Once the iPad Pro is set up as the Mac mini's display, it's a neat example of what it's like to use a touchscreen with a Mac machine. You can display full Mac apps on the iPad Pro, from Photoshop to Final Cut Pro.

What's neat is that you can control apps on your Mac mini through the iPad using the Luna Display app and then swipe out of it to access all of your standard apps. Switching between the two is flawless.

The iPad Pro is, of course, a super expensive display for the Mac mini so this is only useful if you happen to have both of these devices. Buying an iPad Pro just to use as a Mac mini display probably isn't a good idea since you can get a bigger display at a cheaper price.

You can also use the Luna Display with other Macs to turn the iPad into a secondary display. If you want your own Luna Display, it's available for $79.

What do you think of the iPad Pro as a touch display for Mac mini? Let us know in the comments.

Article Link: Video: We Turned an iPad Pro Into a Mac Mini Display With the Luna Display Adapter
 

vicviper789

macrumors regular
Jun 5, 2013
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I really want to do this with my 13” Retina MBP but I know one software update can completely render that useless.. IOS 12 rendered a bunch of my aftermarket lightning cables “incompatible”
 
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jasnw

macrumors 6502a
Nov 15, 2013
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I don't really see a good use-case for this setup unless there's a second standard monitor connected to the Mini to provide real-estate. Yes, it does provide touch-screen access to macOS, but at a high cost that still requires a large second monitor if you're going to do anything serious using the touch-screen access.
 
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Anarchy99

macrumors 6502a
Dec 13, 2003
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funny setup. i dunno whether the 2nd, 3rd display really makes sense, i prefer to have a bigger display.
judging the price tags, this thing however qualifies for the semifinals of "huge amount of money wasted" contest.
I know as a computer tech that does remote tech support, being able to use the ipad pro as a 2nd display the last two years allowed me to have thanksgiving (and other holidays) with family rather than staying home because i need atleast 1 2nd display (3rd or 4th preferred)
i know if i traveled often and needed to do a full workflow rather than limping by for a day or two,it would justify a 2nd ipad pro.

if i used it strictly as a portable monitor then yeah it would be a waste of money, (portable monitors are $200-$500 but they are also low DPI :( ) but the fact its a touchscreen when needed or a iOS device when needed pushes it into the not a waste category.

even outside of being a computer tech, when i worked in other industries multiple monitors was the norm so im not suprised companies are addressing the things apple is neglecting
 

Matt Leaf

macrumors 6502
Feb 5, 2012
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jeebus why cant apple just offer a macOS iPad. The Apple Pencil completely throws out their old notion of a finger being too fat for things when it comes to touch. But as you can clearly see in the video, a workflow is totally possible.

Otherwise if u had a mac mini setup as a headless server at home this could be a nice way to quickly jump in and do some tweaks or manage files etc.
 

Anarchy99

macrumors 6502a
Dec 13, 2003
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Nice. But if this is the useful for you, you could better buy a Surface. You can work with a full scale OS and use it at a mobile device.
as soon as the surface is fully hackintosh-able i will (last i checked only the older surface pro 3 had touch under macOS)

... correction i would also need the surface to get atleast 1 thunderbolt of any generation.
but your right its a closer almost solution
 

iMi

macrumors 65816
Sep 13, 2014
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I see this as an awesome option to use the iPad as a secondary display for a MacBook, but that's about it. The Mini plugged into it just looks ridiculous, but it would still be a nice upgrade for this commuter...

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