Duet Display App Lets You Use An iPad As A Second Display


Developer Rahul Dewan has released Duet Display – an iOS app that lets you use your iPad or iPhone as a second, wired display, via USB.

Previous apps have promised to let you use an iPad as a second display wirelessly, but Duet Display is a wired solution and promises to deliver lag free performance, with up to 60 frames per second.

If your a musician using iOS and OS X, this may be an option for making good use of your iPad, while you’re using your laptop.

Here is the official intro video:


  • Lag Free
  • Plug and Play Setup
  • 60 Frames Per Second
  • Retina Display (optional)
  • Secure Wired Connection
  • Touch Enabled
  • Same Day Support

Note: Duet Display is a 0.3.3 release – meaning that the developer doesn’t consider it to be stable and bug-free enough to be considered a ‘version 1’ yet. We recommend reading the feedback at the App Store, because initial feedback is mixed, with some users having excellent results and others running into bugs.

It seems like there are two main concerns with the app at this point:

  • The developer’s site says iOS 6 is required and the App Store says iOS 5 is required. It appears that at least iOS 6 is required, because owners of older devices have complained that the app doesn’t work for them. The site lists minimum OS versions as OS X 10.9+ and iOS 6+.
  • The features highlight 60 FPS performance and Retina compatibility. This does not seem realistic with older devices with the current version – many users mention needing to set the refresh rate to 30 FPS

Duet Display is available now for US $14.99 in the App Store.

If you’ve tried Duet Display, leave a comment and share how you are using it and how it is working for you!

21 thoughts on “Duet Display App Lets You Use An iPad As A Second Display

  1. Got it! Great app, but I use it at 30FPS, don’t need any more, and don’t expect it to work as a multitouch controller for your Mac.

    1. Hey urgento,

      Don’t count out a multitouch controller just yet. Touch optimization and multi touch support are planned for the future. Still exploring what’s possible with OS X applications.

  2. Used it for plugins in Live, I needed to resize windows on a few but it worked a treat, no noticeable lag. My MacBook Pro was getting rather hot though, 97 degrees when the osciloscope was running (U-He ACE), really superb addition and way better than the wifi equivalents which are slow and laggy.

    1. Do you know of a better or cheaper alternative that offers good performance?

      Otherwise, your comment sounds like uninformed grousing.

  3. This looks very useful for when working on the road. I always have ipad and laptop with me. Better than carrying along a second monitor. Why the hate?

  4. sounds like cpu use is high? makes it kinda useless for content creation work for me.

    too bad. doesn’t seem like there are any cheap battery powered options for a monitor, like if you just wanted to keep track of levels or get visual feedback near hardware you were adjusting or something where update speed is important, but high rez isn’t.

    1. CPU load depends on the power of your computer, currently Retina and 60 fps can require about 60% utilization of one core in your laptop’s multi-core cpu. A Mac Pro or iMac with a more powerful processor will use a smaller % of the cpu. As mentioned above performance increases that will drive cpu lower are coming. So hopefully you’ll give us another look in the very near future.

  5. I got it. Works fine at 30 fps and non-retina so I haven’t changed those settings.

    The only issues I’ve had is a black screen freeze on the initial installation of the OS X application. A re-start cleared that.

    And when using it with FCP X the poster frames turn white when skimming clips in the event browser. It’s not a deal breaker but it would be nice if that can be fixed.

    Somebody on iTunes complained that duet requires a driver installation. Really?? Is that so unusual for something like this? For $15 I think it’s well worth it if you want the functionality it provides.

  6. I assume this supports single touch input? If so, that looks great for hands on fiddling with plugin parameters, especially for those with rsi who can’t use the mouse for extended periods of time.

    I see that only 10.9+ is officially supported, but could this work on 10.6.8?

  7. You pay what you get most of the time. I tried this and it resulted in a lot of lags and problems with the connection settings. If you are a busy person like me and you don’t have that much time figuring out how to get this thing to work, I would suggest purchasing a HDMI portable monitor.

    I use a GeChic portable monitor for my travels and have had no trouble with it so far. The GeChic 1303H is a great monitor which I used it for my MacBook Pro with amazing color rendition. The best part is, this HDMI monitor allows you to connect it to anything, your camera, smartphone, game console.. and other devices. This why it’s a bit pricey, $370 on Amazon, http://amzn.to/1PFJR9U.

    It seems like a big jump from a $15 app to a $370 display, but the other functions of the monitor do the price justice. It weighs just over 1lb, easy to carry, 1 year warranty, 1080p resolution.. and the list goes on and on

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