Dec 12

I’d like to set up some iPads so that our musicians can all follow along with what’s on the mac’s screen. This may also be useful for helping visually impaired people to see what is on a projector screen. Previously I’ve used VNC but it’s a bit complex to set up. There are various options around but sadly none of them worked seamlessly. Here’s a discussion that may save you some time!

Sidecar

OS X Catalina has a built in screen sharing app called sidecar. It allows you to share you Mac screen to an iPad. It didn’t work for me. After over a day of fiddling round, playing with settings, upgrading my iPad to the latest OS, and reading the Apple forums I gave up. I have a 2015 MacBook Pro Retina, and an iPad Pro. They are connected via Bluetooth and wifi. But I simply could not get the Sidecar app to run. It’s interesting that the Apple solution was the only one I could don’t get to work.

Duet

Duet Display is a lovely piece of Software, it worked first time, no fuss. Very clear instructions. It had a nice Touch Bar feature as well. It requires you to download a free app to your OSX Mac and a paid ($15) piece of software from the App Store. The only downside is that for Duet to work over wifi you then need to subscribe for $29 per year. I found it slightly misleading that this was not made clear from the start of the process.

Luna

Luna looks like a nice solution, but unfortunately no good for my needs as I need multiple iPads connected to the same computer. Luna only allows one iPad to be connected at a time. Given that the dongle costs $79 and that it didn’t meet my requirements, I didn’t try out Luna. I like the idea of it mimicking a hardware display – it means it will work with any Mac without any software problems.

Air Display

Airdisplay looked promising, but after spending $15 on the iPad app, the desktop app would not load onto Catalina! I applied to Apple for a refund.

Conclusion

Duet was the only software that worked. I’ll do a more thorough review after I’ve used it for a while.

Aah – here’s why Sidecar doesn’t work on my Macbook Pro 2015. My 2015 Macbook Pro is out of date already. You can only use Sidecar if you get a 2016 Macbook – yes the one with the dodgy keyboard! :-(

4 Responses to “Viewing your OSX screen from multiple iPads”

  1. Peter says:

    Regarding Sidecar, I too was disappointed but quickly discovered my Mac was also not new enough (per Apple’s requirements found here:

    Mac using macOS Catalina including MacBook Pro introduced in 2016 or later, …

  2. Peter says:

    Regarding Duet, I managed to get the wired version free several months ago, perhaps before Sidecar was offered, and am very happy using it without the subscriptions (added features). That said today I see (on my iPhone app store) Duet is ** 50% off For a Limited Time **, but I can’t tell how much that is because I already have it. The website says its regular price is $9.99 (US). This lets you use Duet with a standard charging cable (USB to Lightning cable or C if you have a newer iPad).

    For $20 (US)/year or $2/month you can use Duet Air that will let you use your iPad as a wireless second display and also offers a remote desktop connection so that you can get things done from anywhere around the world (as long as you have an internet connection). I’m curious if it will let you use multiple iPads wirelessly, and do you need to buy it for each iPad. Hopefully, you’ll be sharing more.

    For $30 (US)/year or $4/month, Duet Pro lets you add Pencil Support essentially making your iPad a graphics tablet for your Mac (not sure if it also includes Duet Air).

    I wish for the Agenda model of pricing as software rental never feels right to me.

  3. Walas says:

    Did you try mixing 2 softwares at same time? for example Luna + Duet

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