Duet Display teaser 002

Although Duet Display is not the first app to allow your iOS device to act as an extra display for your Mac (Shape’s $10 iDisplay comes to mind), it’s the first app to have done screen extending right.

Built by ex-Apple engineers who worked at the company for three years on the iPad and iMac, the software delivers a Retina display at a smooth sixty frames per second with no lag whatsoever.

Featuring touch control, Duet Display makes interactions with your Mac fun and smooth while taking advantage of the fact that an additional display increases productivity by giving you up to 48 percent more pixels to work with.

Unlike Shape’s iDisplay which supports wireless display sharing, Duet Display gets rid of the annoying lag by requiring that an iOS device be connected to a Mac via the Lightning or the 30-pin cable.

It’s almost as if the app turned your iPad into an Apple Cinema Display of sorts via the iPad’s 2,048-by-1,536 pixel resolution screen, either in portrait or landscape.

Your Mac sees an iPad or iPhone running Duet Display as a secondary display so you can pretty much do anything you normally would with an external display hooked up to the Mac in the extended desktop layout.

Duet Display teaser 001

For example, you can drag Finder windows to an iPad, enable the Dock and menu bar on the secondary display, edit images in Photoshop on the Mac while keeping Photoshop controls at your fingertips on an iOS device, rearrange the displays in System Preferences, drag any Mac app to and from the secondary iOS display in Mission Control and more.

And using the iPad’s multi-touch screen, you can tap on Mac apps’ controls, scroll through the windows dragged to the second display and more. YouTube videos in Safari and Chrome for Mac as well as Mac games executed in full-screen on the iPad’s display worked without a hiccup in my brief hands-on time with the app.

Before you can start using Duet Display, you must first install a Mac client which talks to the iOS app and streams your desktop. The desktop app will ask your permission to create a second display driver and then restart your computer.

“Duet is certified by Apple to create graphics drivers and this will not affect your original display or system settings,” assures a prompt.

Duet Display Mac client

The free desktop client for OS X is available for download at this link. It sits in the Mac’s menu bar and provides the choice between regular and Retina screens and a 30Hz and 60Hz refresh rate.

You’ll need a newer Mac model to power the display to Retina resolution. Duet Display is the first iPad screen mirroring app that doesn’t suck and I’d wholeheartedly recommend giving it a try.

If you get stuck on the Launching Duet screen, just turn your device upside down or close the app and relaunch. Duet Display has some issues on Yosemite Macs causing the black square background around the volume graphics while the OS X client is running.

That’s a known bug in Yosemite and they’re already on it, as well as on some issues with iOS devices running iOS 5.1.1. And yes, they’re considering making a Windows version of the client in the future.

Duet Display requires a Mac running OS X 10.9+ and supports any iPhone and iPad model with iOS 5.1.1 or later. Download Duet Display for an introductory price of $10, but only during the launch day as the price will increase to $14.99 a pop after 24 hours.

[Duet Display website]

  • AnoNymouz

    Love this!! Worth more than this.

  • Matheus Lisboa

    Does it have to be lighting or does a 30 pin work too?

    • mxpx5678

      30 pin works also.

      • Matheus Lisboa


  • Picked it up, works flawlessly!

    • soundmanbrad

      I agree. I just tried it out and it works great –especially if you compare it to other methods.

  • Bart.

    So it’s like ‘Air Display 2’ but with a cable?

    • Damian

      And more reliable

  • Eric Castro

    The advertised “Zero lag” is only true if using a non retina resolution. If you enable retina it lags considerably even at 30hz. Still better than all the other wifi based external display apps though.

  • Dani Hayes

    Anything like this for Windows, except Splash Top??

    • Flabalanche

      jump desktop

  • Truc

    Pretty shiiiiiii*** . The app only connect to my mac 1 time, and now it never connect anymore. I never get the same menu down like the sample image.
    Such a waste of money.
    iDownloadblog, have you tried this before recommend people to buy this shi**** app, it got me!
    my 10 bucks wasted, it’s not working on Yosemite and my iOS device.

    SO busted!!

    • Adrian

      this is a bug. clicking on the share button fixed the problem for me. I have no idea why but it is only a bug that should be fixed soon.

      this app is nice, but i wish the devs would allow to run this app in full or 720 resolution on the iphone 6 plus

  • JoJo

    Very disappointed.. No lag is FALSE advertisement.
    There is a VERY noticeable lag even if you put the quality on the lower setting.
    Putting it on 60 FPS makes thins a bit smoother but still sluggish.
    Tried it with a iPad4 with macbook 2013 and iMac 2011.

    Its a waste of 10 bucks in my opinion, gonna see if I can get a refund.

  • Alexander Gennadievich

    Very laggy so far, hopefully devs will fix all the issues soon, great concept though.

  • Speg77

    Rubbish. It just stays on the launching Duet screen on my IPad Air. I’ve tried turning it upside down and pressed the Share button as well as restarting it. They should seriously have ironed things out before releasing this.

  • Luis Sayo

    The download link does NOT work