If you have a Mac and an iPad, there are a few options for turning your tablet into a second computer screen. This comparison talks about two of them, but basically you need to choose between a tool that works via USB connection, taking all the flexibility out of the equation, or one that connects the two devices via Wi-Fi, which almost always leads to bad latency on transmission of images.
Well, if the promises of Astro HQ prove to be true, we can finally have the best of both worlds. This is because the developer, founded by two ex-Apple engineers and responsible for already established mirroring applications like Astropad, is launching its first piece of hardware precisely with this proposal – this is the Luna Display:
The piece, similar to a stylish pendrive, connects to your Mac’s Mini DisplayPort or USB-C port (there are two models, one for each interface) and automagically begins to transmit the contents of the computer screen to the iPad; it is enough that both devices are on the same wireless network and with the Luna application open.
The leap of the little red cat is that it is able to access all the graphics capacity of your Mac – while solutions that are based on Wi-Fi depend only on the software to work, Luna Display can have a direct connection with your computer’s graphics chip and directly obtain the information needed to pass it to the receiving application. This brings a number of advantages: for example, on the “Monitors” screen, in the System Preferences, the device is shown as a second common screen, allowing all adjustments of position and size.
In addition, if you have an iPad Pro, you can use the Apple Pencil to control the Mac, with all the benefits brought by the accessory – if you use professional illustration software, therefore, the tablet basically becomes an extremely elegant and precise graphics tablet. (An important detail is that, to use Apple Pencil via Luna Display, you need Astropad Studio, which works via subscriptions and costs a hefty $ 8 / month.)
For now, Luna Display is still a Kickstarter project in the final planning stages – considering, however, that Astro HQ’s $ 30,000 goal has already been exceeded by more than 800% (!) And that we’re talking about a developer already known and with a great name to watch over, it can be said that this is a totally safe investment for those interested.
The accessory will cost, after launch, $ 80 (~ R $ 250), but several contribution offers on the project page allow you to purchase one or multiple units for a promotional price. According to Astro HQ, any iPad running the iOS 9.1 or higher and Macs running macOS 10.10 Yosemite or later – but machines from 2012 or beyond will perform better, according to the developers.