I have seen an app called AirDisplay, read reviews about it and thought about the app for a long time now. I have always thought that it was an interesting concept but never could convince myself to try it out. The app has been pretty steady in price, about ten dollars. This past week I finally gave it a go. So let me tell you my thoughts….
First of all, let me fill your in on the app purpose. The purpose of this app is to give your computer a second display. That display can be your iPad, iPhone, a Mac or a PC. It really is pretty slick. If you are not used to running two monitors it does take some getting used to the idea of what is going on. In other words, I could use my iPad as the second display. Then I could have my laptop showing a report I am working on and my iPad running preview showing a PDF that I am taking information from. Maybe you want to keep an iChat window up on your iPad or iTunes while you create a keynote for your next days class. Maybe you want to run Sibelius and put all the little tool bars over on your iPad so you can have the entire laptop screen for the music.
This last situation is what caught my attention as being possibly useful to me. It has always annoyed me that my laptop does not have a number pad when I work in Sibelius. So figured that maybe I could just put the keypad over on my iPad and touch whatever note value I wanted. AirDisplay does support touch.
Does it work? It actually does work very well, kind of. The iPad and laptop work well together. I can drag my keypad to my iPad and use touch to control the note values. There is not that much of a lag when working on the iPad at all. The problem is that my fingers are WAY to fat! There is. No way to change the size of the keypad and there is no way to change the resolution on the iPad. I thought that maybe when I used the iPhone the keypad would fill the screen more. I was wrong, the keypad was WAY smaller on the iPhone! I can of course use the mouse and click on the keypad and it all works great but my purpose is to keep my hands off the mouse to work faster.
The app does exactly what it says it will do. If you want a second display for your computer then this app would work really well! Plus it would save y from filling your desk like you see in the picture below! Just beware of what size things will be on the iPad and especially the iPhone!
I should offer an alternative to this situation though. I do have an alternative that works very well so it would not be fair to not share would it?
I have been using an app called MobileMouse Pro ever since I only had an iPod Touch, no iPad or iPhone. This app works wonderfully! It is a remote control for your mouse and your computer. It has several different ways you can set it up to be useful. I have it loaded on my iPhone and use it in the same situation as I mentioned above while using Sibelius. I simply pull up the number pad mode in the MobileMouse app and I am all set. Now I can select the note values using my phone and type in notes with my other hand. The app also has modes to control your cursor, just drag the cursor around with your thumb or use the accelerometer for a really fun time! You tip the phone to the right and the mouse goes to the right, tip the phone down and the cursor goes lower…. There are also ways to set up specific hotkeys for specific apps. I have a SmartMusic setting where I can start SmartMusic, stop it, change songs, turn the metronome on and off, turn the accompaniment on or off and other things just by tapping a button in MobileMouse. I would highly suggest MobileMouse! In fact I should do a post on it soon!
If any of you have used AirDisplay and have found a great way to incorporate it into your workflow I would love to know what you are doing! Leave a comment!