Air Display iDisplay
Last week we reviewed the awesome iPad App known as Air Display. Now we want to take a look at a few of the Apps that are available for your iDevices (including Air Display) that work to make somewhat of a unified environment within your computer and your Apple device.
The first is Air Display, which we looked at last week. It's an amazing piece of software that turns your iPad into a second display over wifi. Despite a few minor hiccups, such as lag when you drag around windows and it's ability to only run in Snow Leopard, it was an all around solid product for $10. (Full review here)
The second is a direct rival to Air Display, it's called iDisplay. This App runs at about half the price of competitor, which already makes it a bit more enticing, but don't let that convince you. The App is painfully slow–almost unusable.
Even from the minute you download iDisplay, the software isn't clear on what to do. You get a screen that says "searching" only by clicking on the "i" for info and reading the FAQs will you figure out what to do. Luckily, we had tested out Air Display first, so we already knew that we needed desktop software to properly run the App. However, aside from more tech-oriented users, we doubt it will be immediately obvious to users.
With Air Display, the very first thing you see is a screen telling you to go to avatron.com/ad on your desktop browser. It instructs to to download the App. In Air Display, all the instructions are on a single screen, the second you launch the App. iDisplay will leave most trying to guess for the first few minutes.
There are some advantages to this software. It lets the user pinch to zoom in and out, you can connect it to your iPhone for a very small second display and you can use it to type. In fact, the line you are reading right now was typed on an iPad using iDisplay. One of the best features is that it works across different operating systems. Air Display is limited to Snow Leopard, which is the App's biggest issue.
For us, it's all about usability. iDisplay is still too slow for our tastes, and needs to be a bit more user-friendly at startup. If they can make these changes in future updates, maybe they can end up being the better of the two, if for features alone. Still, as mentioned before, the software costs $4.99. Still, despite the price, Air Display is a much better choice.
See the chart below for side-by-side comparisons:
Finally, we have MyPhoneDesktop. MyPhoneDesktop is another App that lets you better connect your device to your computer. Though it doesn't create a second screen like the above Apps, it's our second favorite of the three, and for that reason, gets an honorable mention. The App works as advertised, but amounts to not much more than a time saver (rather than emailing yourself the photos), which may be just what you are looking for.
The App lets you transfer phone numbers, URLs, text or images from your computer to your iDevice wirelessly. As some sites have said, it connects your devices the way Apple should have connected them. It would be great to have this sort of functionality built-in. Still, the App is great at what it does, and for $1.99 it's doesn't break the bank.