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Have you used an iPad as a second monitor?

Jess Lee (she/her)
・1 min read

How has your experience been so far?

Discussion (34)

jm9k profile image
Jordan Mack πŸπŸ•

I used to use my iPad as a third monitor using Duet Display. Unfortunately, the drivers were sometimes horribly incompatible with Windows 10 updates, causing blue screens. I decided it wasn't worth it anymore.

ninjabunny9000 profile image
πŸ’Ύ bun9000

Same! I’d love a better alternative...

codebalance profile image
Kat πŸ†πŸΎ

Same here. Would like to know which software works?

jm9k profile image
Jordan Mack πŸπŸ•

If there was one that worked well, sure, I'd like to know what it is.

lindsive profile image
Lindsay Iveson

Yes! Before updating to MacOS Catalina, I used an app called Duet and it was great! The downside was that I had to connect my iPad to my Macbook Pro (so many dongles) and pay about $10.

But since updating, I now use sidecar, and that's been very smooth and I really like it.

wichopy profile image
Will C.

I really enjoy it. Its super smooth, I didn't notice any latency issues.

Its great if you work remote or need an extra tiny screen to hold a window or two.

I only have an iPad mini, I image with the bigger iPad pro the experience is even better.

jess profile image
Jess Lee (she/her) Author

Awesome, do you use anything special to prop it up/attach it to your laptop?

wichopy profile image
Will C.

I have one of those standard iPad covers from Amazon that fold into a triangle. Its worked well for propping it up.

Before Apple announced iPad screen sharing I was considering this as an option πŸ˜‚

mprogano profile image
oh hi mark πŸ‘‹

I too just bought an iPad Pro 11” (pro tip amazon sells them β€œrenewed” for cheap). I’m using it in many ways including an extra monitor. A while back I purchased the Luna Display, it makes things very consistent and retains quality β€” highly recommended for power users. I also saw someone on YouTube who uses the new raspberry pi as their mobile work environment that they connect to iPad. Very interesting.

johnsonjo4531 profile image
John Johnson

I've found sometimes my iPad Pro will disconnect when using sidecar. The trick/hack I use to get it to reconnect is to click the sidecar/iPad icon in the top right and click mirror display then I switch it back to separate display.

tammalee profile image
Tammy Lee • Edited

I have and I very much like the experience.
However, I don't code much when I'm travelling so I usually travel with just my iPad.

  • I use Working Copy to update my Hugo website. (Netlify looks for changes in my repo then builds and deploys from there.)
  • FE File Explorer when I need to dig around in my iPad for files
  • Zoom/Slack for meetings
  • Google Docs for writing (easier to share with my PA or my team)
  • Web-based Github to review PRs
  • Streamlabs for live streaming to Twitch
  • Slack for team communications
  • Dropbox for cloud storage
  • And Zapier zaps to move things from my iPad to Cloudinary/blogs/social etc.

If I were going to code, I'd probably use a cloud-based IDE like Codesandbox or Code Anywhere

Hope that helps! :D

leewynne profile image
Lee Wynne

Hmmm. I was really excited when sidecar came out. I have an iPad Pro. I hooked it up and then suddenly realised that actually, 95% of what I have on my Mac, I have natively on my iPad Pro anyway 🀷🏻. I think I really good use case is the Adobe Cloud, for using your iPad and pencil to actually draw on your Mac.

paraschhugani profile image
paras chhugani • Edited

I want a second screen for my ios development. I am confused between iPad 8th gen and a monitor ...
Ipad is costing me 21,570 RS and monitor + second-hand iPhone is costing me 18,500 RS ..
If I buy an iPad i will use it for second screen and app testing, and monitor for same.

Can anyone help me here.....

gualtierofr profile image
Gualtiero Frigerio

I've used Duet in the past with a 9.7'' iPad but didn't like it and usually if I have an iPad next to my Mac is to debug applications on it, so is not really available to be a second display all the time.
Besides, I'm not a fan of dual monitor setups unless they're both the same size/level. I had an iMac, now I have a Mac Mini with a 27'' display and if I work on my Macbook Pro I only use its 15'' display.

michaelfriedman profile image
Michael Friedman

If you have an iPad Pro, the dual monitor support is built-in with Catalina now, you don't need to buy any additional software. I've used it pretty extensively and it works great, but I recommend plugging it in with a cable vs a wired connection when possible.

peterwitham profile image
Peter Witham

I do use it as a second and sometimes third display like many have commented. I have played around with Sidecar and it works OK, but I still use my LunaDisplay adapter more. I find it works great for me since I lean towards using second+ screens for things like reference materials or monitoring Slack, those sort of 'glance at them' apps for the most part.

annarankin profile image
Anna Rankin

I tried mine out as a tablet with Sidecar - I love it! Bonus that you get pressure sensitivity. Using it for work was okay, didn't have much use for the screen besides messaging as it was really small. Could be fun though!

fluffy profile image

I used to use AstroPad with a dummy HDMI adapter, which worked pretty okay. Then when Luna Display came out I switched to that, and it worked a bit better. Now that macOS Catalina has that functionality built-in, it works great.

The main issue is that it can be kind of unwieldy to physically juggle the devices depending on the space I'm working in.

mrafayaleem profile image
Rafay Aleem

I recently bought the new iPad 10.2. Been using it as a second display on and off over-the-air. Experience has been great as far a second monitor is concerned.

Eventually, I would like to use it more as a design / illustration / note-taking tool that seamlessly integrates with my Mac. That experience has been a bit jittery and I am looking for tips to optimize that. I am using Notability for illustrations and notes and would like to know how you guys use this app in conjunction with your Macbooks.

thompcd profile image
Corey Thompson • Edited

I use my 6th Gen at Starbucks every morning before going into work. Works great there. However, at the house I have a few spots with lackluster wifi connection and the experience is pretty latent. I end up having to tether at the house. I loveee that each screen each has multiple desktops. Makes using it for development fantastic - 3 instances of localhost on the ipad, each on their own desktop for different resolutions and VSCode on the MBPro. πŸ‘Œ

john_papa profile image
John Papa

Yes - iPad Pro. I was using duo, but now I use sidecar. It's really smooth and now it's baked into macOS.

jess profile image
Jess Lee (she/her) Author

How else do you use the iPad Pro to assist with your workflow?

john_papa profile image
John Papa
  1. To watch movies while I code
  2. 2nd monitor with sidecar (wired from laptop to keep charged, if long periods of time)
  3. I sometimes do minor coding on the iPad (in github online for PRs) - I hope to use it for VSO tho
  4. Drawing sketches for modeling architecture
  5. Sketch noting
  6. Meetings (so I can see other things that are not shared)
martinstreicher profile image
Martin Streicher

Buy a Luna Display. It works better than the Mojave built-in feature and you can use a second Mac as a second screen.

tonydehnke profile image
Tony Dehnke

I've been using my 10.5" Pro with Duet Display for a long time now and love it.

tamouse profile image
Tamara Temple

i tried using AirDisplay a while back. i never really did much, but i think it's a nifty idea

rwkyyy profile image
RwkY • Edited

Well my experience has been good so far, I like the fact that the latency is really low for a wireless display.
I suggest you get a xiaomi battery, they got some models that can even charge your mbp.

i2amadeveloper profile image
Front-End Developer for Hire

I've been using my iPad Pro 9.7 as a second monitor on my 13" MBP for the past couple years and it's been great. I've been using it with Duet.

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Tim Olsen

I've used a 2018 iPad as a second display with a Macbook Pro. Works flawlessly! I recommend packing a usb-c to lightning cable for best results!

alexanderalemayhu profile image
Alexander Alemayhu

Other than the connectivity issues, the sidecar is amazing! I put several terminals on there or desktop apps I am working on. Feels much better and so nice to not have to deal with the cables :D

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VΓ­tΔ›zslav Ackermann Ferko

I am using Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 as my second monitor, it comes with a nice stand too and the resolution is great together with a 4k XPS 13.

gabrielwebb profile image
Gabriel Webb

Using a 12.9 iPad Pro and 13’ MBP together is so nice. I love it.

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Maegan Wilson

I’ve done it a couple times with Side Car. It’s been pretty useful and definitely gets the job done. I wouldn’t do it full time. I also wouldn’t enjoy it as much if I didn’t have the 12.9” iPad Pro.

mehdico profile image
Mehdi Mousavi • Edited

I'm using my 10" tablet as second monitor using Splashtop XDisplay app.