Duet Display

Duet Display

Duet Logo

Duet lets you use your iPad as a second monitor on your Mac or Windows computer.

Subtitle:  I carry a second monitor in my bag…

Every now and again you find a tool that is so useful you need to share.  When that happens you OWE it to the manufacturer/service provider to share for two reasons:

  1. get off your butt – it’s the right thing to do, and
  2. it’s self-serving; candid and positive product endorsements are IMMENSELY valuable for growing companies!

Duet – Space if a Beautiful Thing

Space is a beautiful thing.

and I can’t get enough of it.


  1. LOOVE my MacBook Air (MBA) ((still) gorgeous, small, crazy convenient, good battery life, great keyboard, more than powerful enough even for VMWare) – I could go on.
  2. I am a screen-space snob – the more screens and resolution the better.

Until Duet I was SOL.  At my work- or home-desk I have multiple monitors.  On travel / when mobile I endured the MBA’s small screen. I’ve tried to get into MacOS’s Spaces but never felt it work for me.  I need to see a lot of stuff all at once not have a better way of hiding it.

In fairness there are wireless solutions that use WiFi to extend screens from one machine to another.  I tried these but the flakiness of the networks on which I work routinely frustrated me.

Then I met Duet.  ♥

and then I met Ten One Design‘s Mountie.  ♥♥♥

What does Duet do?

Duet allows you to use your iPad as second (or third+) screen.  Using Duet you can extend your desktop onto your iPad just like you would do with a second “real” monitor or projector.

If you add in the Ten One Design Mountie you get something that works / looks like this:

Duet and the Mountie

For a mobile worker this is really good stuff.

What do I need to use this?

  1. Download the Duet.app for iOS from the App Store.  This costs $15.99.  The one-time $15.99 price lets you use Duet on all of your iOS devices (that use the same iTunes account) and on as many Macs as you want.
  2. Download the Mac/Windows software from the Duet website.
  3. Find the cable (lightning or 30-pin) you need to connect your iPad to your computer.  By the way, Duet works with your phone too!
  4. Connect iOS device to computer
  5. Launch Duet on the computer
  6. Launch Duet on the iOS device
  7. Wait for your computer to recognize the external display.
  8. Done!

I’ve been using Duet + Mountie + iPad Mini for a while and it’s great.  That said, an iPad Pro is on my list and when I get it I’ll be using Duet with it.  The Mountie won’t hold the iPad Pro (at least not in its current incarnation) so I’ll end up with some sort of slim stand.

Highly recommended!!

Other Points

  • Former Apple engineers developed this which leads me to believe that the mildly unnatural act of using an iPad as a display has been well optimized
  • Past a certain angle the weight of the iPad Mini on the Mountie – attached to the MacBook Air “tips.”  This causes the screen on the MacBook Air to want to open fully which, in turn, causes the MBA to want to tip backwards.  If I had my druthers I’d like to adjust the screen hinge tension on my MBA.  Since that’s not possible my practical usage is restricted to environments where I don’t need to look on the MBA screen at a downward angle (e.g.,  in airplanes).
  • As a pleasant surprise Duet works with other USB display systems.  I was recently in a customer’s conference room using a USB projector.  Duet and the USB projector co-existed nicely.  As far as OSX El Capitan was concerned they were both external monitors.


This entry was posted in Mac OSX, Personal Technology, User Experience. Bookmark the permalink.

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