Using iPad as a 2nd Monitor–Duet Display

Within this year, I see myself spending more time outside of my office than in the office which is rather something that I am looking for. There are times when I just needed one more monitor than just the laptop itself so that I can cross-reference some documents on Excel Spreadsheet along with what is being displayed on the main monitor especially when I am meddling with the system configurations of the customer systems.

Ideas have been storming into my mind all these while but every time a new idea emerged, I will start to think of the Pros and Cons. I did remember my good friend Matt Hitchcock has recommended to me the ASUS MB169+ which is an awesome piece of gadget! However, there are many constraints that prevented me from getting one of those external monitors that are powered by USB.

  1. I am using a HP Elitebook 840 G3 which comes with Two USB ports. I am generally happy with this machine as I have upgraded it to 16GB and it has built-in SSD which makes running a full lab that able to simulate the whole Condeco Enterprise suite of products.
  2. Although I am using a TUMI Alpha 2, it does have space limitation too although it is really huge! Moreover, I didn’t want to intentionally carry a truck full of loots with me each time I travel from place to place.
  3. Do I really need to lug around a 15” monitor with me all day long?

Therefore, I did a search online and chanced upon this software known as Duet Display. This generally fits into my use-case as I recently just upgrade my iPad Mini Generation 1 to a refurbished set of iPad Air 2 which I am really happy with till now.

Duet Display is free to download on your Mac OS X or Windows computer as the licensing is count towards the device you used as the additional screen. In terms of pricing, it is on the high side of an iOS application as it is priced at SGD 28.98.

Nevertheless, being productive at whatever one is doing is getting more and more important to me. I aimed to be able to improve and increase productivity for not just myself but for all the people around me who are keen to do so. On the flip side, the money spent on the App isn’t that significant anymore because I always believe that if one can splurge on good meals, they should be responsible for their own productivity. Therefore, one should invest in their well-beings. In the past, I have used other application which taps on the Wireless Network in order to connect as a secondary screen but the disadvantage of that would be it is always dependent on the wireless strength.

The setup of the application and have it connect to my Windows 10 laptop isn’t that difficult and can be done swiftly within 10 minutes including the time taken to download the application. Connect the iPad with the lightning cable and everything works like a charm. Here is a photo of the end result.

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Below is the step of step setting up of the application on my iPad after downloading from the Apple App Store.

1. The Application is easily found in the Apple App Store.

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2. Welcome screen

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3. Guide you to install the necessary software on your Mac OS or Windows computer.

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4. Typical application behaviour where they will ask you for permission to allow notifications to be shown. One thing that caught my eye is that it will keep track on how many hours that the software provides in terms of Productive Hours. This just co-relate with, how much frustrations has been saved and how much time was saved just by able to be more productive.

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5. Next is the signing up of marketing emailers.

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6. Now the most essential part where it is awaiting for the iPad to be connected.

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Once the iOS powered device is connected, it will automatically launch iTunes (if you have it installed) and automatically it will connect and display as a secondary screen as shown earlier in this post.

Some of the highlights of this Application is the help screen which generally gives me a very neat feeling.

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If you have an Apple iPad and wish to increase your productivity by having an additional screen, please go ahead and try out Duet Display.

Cheers,
Milton

[Consumer Review] – AirServer

Recently, I find myself needing to mirror the image from my Apple iPad to my computer during presentation so I went on searching for a tool that can help complete this task. As I uses Apple Mac at work, so I need something that is friendly to Mac but at the same time friendly to Windows too (Kill two birds with one stone).

Happened to chanced upon AirServer when I did an online search so decided to give it a spin since they offered 7 days trial. You may want to give the application a spin by hitting here. (You are not seeing the wrong thing, the link is a referral link that was assigned to my account. Well, I believe in a win-win situation. Definitely, you have all the freewill to hit the download section via the site directly as it doesn’t affect me at all.)

Installation Process

During the installation process on a Windows 8.1 computer, I encountered that there are more pre-requisites that is required as compared to installation on my Mac. Hereby, I will walk through the differences.

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As you can see, since I giving the software a spin and I want to be able to enjoy every single bit out of it. I wish to enable both AirPlay and Miracast.

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This is simple, downloading another driver to get it installed is easy matter since concise instructions was given. Just download the Bonjour Print Services from here and get it installed. Alternatively, if you have iTunes installed, you would have installed the Bonjour Print Services in one way or another.

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Second item on the list flagged out because I have selected Miracast is complex because I am installing it on my Intel NUC and Ethernet Lan was used all the time since I did not add Wireless Card in it. Well, too bad, I will just remove Miracast then.

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Run the check again to make sure all pre-requisites are installed and move ahead by clicking on “Next”. Agree to the EULA and continue.

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If you have downloaded the application via the site, you would have been prompted to either Sign-Up via logging into FaceBook or fill in the basic details to sign-up. Either way would have an Activation Code created on the screen.

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Change to the desire folder to install the AirServer but usually I will just leave it as default.

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This is rather a special way to phrase it. I always get options such as “Do you want to make this application available to yourself.” or “Do you want to make this application available to everyone?”. Something different at once… Click on to get the application installed.

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Usage

After installation, the AirServer application is launched and I am welcome to this screen.

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I seriously thought that I have entered the Activation Code once during registration and it seems like it hasn’t been registered. (To the AirServer Team, is this a bug?) This is the part where Internet Connection is needed as the application will hit back to one of the server at AirServer to make sure that the code entered is valid and not expired.

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Hooray! It is running now! Now time to give it a spin…

I was suppose to get it working by mirroring my iPad display to my Windows 8.1 screen but doesn’t seem working presently. However, all audio that are playing on the iPad are routed to the Windows 8.1 computer via AirServer.

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I don’t think this should be rocket science to setup but definitely doing it on an Apple Mac is way easier compared to Windows.

 

Compatibility

Operating System: Compatible PC / Compatible Mac
Sender: AirPlay Compatible Device or Miracast Compatible Source Device
Network: Source and Destination to be on the same Network. (Be it Wired or Wireless connected)
Internet Connection: Required only for Software Activation.

For this, I am so entice to get Miracast compatible source device. (I promise to write another blog post after I tried AirServer with my newly purchased gadget.)

 

Pricing

As you can see from the chart below which I have grabbed it from AirServer website.

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It just cost US$14.99 in order to enjoy the full function for life (perpetual license). It is not expensive at all for all the convenient it gives you.

Will you give this a spin or you have something better to recommend? Share with me via the comment box or drop me an email.

Cheers!
Milton Goh