Wireless Monitor Apps
Now that you have an iPad or two you may be wondering: how else can I use this wonderful screen? One great way is to actually turn your iPad into a wireless monitor for your Mac or Windows machine. There are only a handful of apps that we could find that allow you to do this. We compare them in this AppGuide.
Air Display is the essential wireless monitor app for iOS. The technology empowering the app is top notch, which enables lightning fast refresh rates. You can even run the app on your iPhone or iPod touch, which is extremely useful for little windows or toolbars. The app is fully touch-screen enabled, which lets you simply touch the screen to select an item with your mouse. Backgrounding is also supported, so you can briefly leave the app and return without your computer freaking out. The reason this app is the essential one is its support of both Mac and Windows, its fast reliable connection, and dead simple setup.
DisplayPad is the best Mac-only alternative to AirDisplay. The price is better and it even includes some unique features. These include an on-screen Mac keyboard and right click functionality. The refresh rate is just as fast as AirDisplay. Mac users may want to pick up both AirDisplay and DisplayPad. You could use two iPads as external monitors, instead of just one. Mac users should give DisplayPad a good look. The app is solid and a worthy alternative to AirDisplay.
DisplayLink is the best alternative for Windows users. Mac support is left out of this Windows-only app. To run the app you will need to pair it with a machine running Windows XP, Vista, or 7. The solution is fully integrated into the DisplayLink dock and multi monitor setups, which you can also purchase. The price is hard to beat at $1.99. Windows users should give this one a serious look.
Another Mac-only solution is iScreen. The app is plagued with slow refresh rates and annoying slow network speed warnings. We are not sure what the upgrade path of this app will look like as the app is still at version 1.0 (released in December 2010). Just like DisplayPad, this app also supports on-screen keyboard and mouse input. For now iScreen is one to avoid, but we are hopeful it improves in the near future.
The original wireless display app, iDisplay, is yet another option. From the very first day, this app has been plagued with slow refresh rates and a buggy experience. There have been improvements to the app over the past year, but it is still not at a high enough level to recommend. The good news is the app will run on Windows and Macs and the developers are hard at work to make it even better.
MultiScreen is not a wireless display for your Mac or Windows computer. Instead, it will extend your iPad's screen to a second iPad. There are many limitations, however. Basically, all you can do is view a photo across two iPads. You cannot use it like a traditional second monitor. We love the concept of this app and would love to see more like it, but its limited functionality make it a hard app to recommend just yet.