As I wrote a little while ago, tablets are great for annotating PDFs that you’ve saved in Evernote. What you might not know is that you can also use them as a second screen for your PC or Mac. Unless you have a monitor the size of a sofa, it can be difficult viewing multiple documents or applications at the same time. With the Air Display app, you can connect to your tablet over a wifi network and then display the contents of your desktop. Magic! Either set it to mirror your desktop (useful for teaching purposes), or as an extension, allowing you to drag applications on to this additional screen. As there are no wires involved, you can easily pop your tablet on a document reader or prop it against a pile of books.
I do a lot of work in Adobe InDesign and Photoshop, both of which demand the full width of a large monitor. With Air Display, I can also have a Word document or an email open for reference purposes. Although the app costs around £6, it’s a lot cheaper than buying a second monitor and it doesn’t take up any space.
I’ve tried it on both PC and Mac with my Android tablet and it worked very well, although its performance is affected by the speed of your wifi network. The company behind it also offers software that enables you to use your laptop as a second monitor. There’s plenty of support available on their website, although I haven’t needed it. It takes around 5 minutes to set up.
Mac users can connect up to 4 devices – perfect for creating a Bond villain-style console. Whatever you do with it, Air Display is a wonderfully simple solution for those of us who need a bit more screen space.