Air Display update turns the new iPad into a ‘Retina’ Mac display
Just as Avatron promised last month, an updated version of their popular Air Display app has now been released which takes advantage of the new iPad’s Retina screen and OS X Lion’s HiDPI mode – effectively turning the third-generation iPad into a Retina quality Mac display.
Here’s Avatron’s explanation of how it works:
“If you have Mac OS X Lion and a Retina iOS device, now you can turn on “HiDPI mode.” HiDPI is a built-in Mac OS X feature that makes UI elements render at double resolution. It’s absolutely stunning on a Retina display. By default, Mac OS X disables HiDPI because until now, there has been no Mac display with high enough resolution. Air Display on a new iPad, with its 2048×1536 264-dpi Retina display, finally brings HiDPI to life.”
I gave the app a try this morning, and took the following screenshots:
Air Display running on the new iPad in 1024×768 (HiDPI) mode. View full size
You can also run Air Display at the new iPad’s native resolution of 2048×1536, and see more of the desktop, but text becomes too small to read comfortably. View full size
Air Display running on a first-generation iPad – only 1024×768 is available. View full size
Not all Lion apps support HiDPI at the moment, and it’s unlikely you’ll see it supported in third-party apps, so don’t expect everything to look fantastic. You will also probably notice some image degradation, and a little lag when you move windows around, but aside from that the app does seem to work surprisingly well.
The only issue I encountered that left me a little concerned was that at one point the colours on the iPad went a little funky looking, which I have reported to Avatron:
The latest version of Air Display is priced at £6.99 ($9.99) from the App Store.