Need a second monitor? Try your iPad on for size!

Yesterday, while working on a project, I realized that I needed to have two files open at the same time and I really needed both of them to be full-screen.

I don’t have a second monitor.  I could have printed out one file for reference, but I really don’t like to waste paper.  What I do have, however, is a number of other devices for website testing.  A short search led me to Air Display, an app that turns an iPad or other iDevice into a second screen.

I purchased the app ($9.99 from the iTunes store) and installed it on my iPad.  Downloaded the Windows software for my laptop (the software is also, of course, available for Mac) and installed it.  Opened the app on the iPad, synced the two screens, pulled one file over to the iPad, and voila! a quick, easy-to-use, inexpensive dual-monitor setup.

A nice bonus?  It took me about 10 minutes to realize that I could run the mouse cursor over to the iPad and use the mouse there too.  Or if I wanted to go the other way, I could use the touch screen on the iPad to control the cursor on my laptop.  Too cool!

The one downside that I found was that Air Display keeps the iPad display on at all times, which does eat into battery life.  Just be aware of that and prepare to plug it in when necessary.

If you have occasionally need of two screens but don’t want to spring for a second monitor, Air Display is well worth checking out.  It made my work day go much faster — and no printouts to recycle!