February 16, 2012 | by Andrew Kameka
Evaluated version: 1.5.2
Pros: Expands work environment, fast refresh, supports viewing and controlling some programs
Cons: Video streaming isn't as quick as desktop, cursor occasionally stutters
I’ve always been jealous of people with dual-monitor displays, especially since I do most of my work on laptop these days. My tablet has filled in some of the gaps by providing me with a secondary screen for controlling some media options and Twitter monitoring, but that limits me to only accessing content with an Android app. If only there I knew how to turn an Android tablet into a second monitor for a PC or Mac.
Oh, there’s already an app for that? Of course there is.
Air Display is a new app that increases your visual workspace by becoming a wireless display for your computer. Once the tablet and PC/Mac are connected to the same computer, Air Display can be requisitioned to display content from your computer. Whether in landscape or portrait, the tablet will display content and give you a larger workspace. So if you need a dedicated window for Twitter, viewing documents, browsing photos, or having a secondary screen during coding sessions, Air Display fits the bill. (You can also use Mirror Display to show an exact image of the desktop on the tablet that updates instantly.)
And it’s not just about displaying content; Air Display actually lets users interact as well. The app can act as a control surface for music production and recording apps like Logic or ProTools. It can also house the palettes for Photoshop, giving graphic designers more room on-screen. There limited input controls and gesture support that can turn the tablet into a mouse of sorts.
Air Display costs $9.99 and requires and Android 2.3.7 or higher device when purchased in the Android Market. It’s also available in the Amazon Appstore. Be sure to check for desktop compatibility requirements. At the time of publishing this article, it requires Mac OS X 10.6 or later. Windows Vista and Windows 7 are supported, as is Windows XP (32-bit only). Windows 7 Starter Edition is not supported.