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Duet Display now lets you extend a Windows desktop to your iPad

HOTAS
HOTAS (Image credit: Windows Central)

Plugging in a second monitor to extend your computer from one display to two is just about as far from a new concept as you can get, but taking an existing piece of technology and using it as a second monitor temporarily is something of a challenge. Duet Display was the first app to make an iOS device into a 60fps second monitor with touch input for OSX, and it remains one of the best experiences for temporarily extending your desktop setup when you're on the go.

Until today, this experience was limited to Mac users with iOS devices. With Windows support now available, Duet Display can now be used to extend the desktop of just about every computer on the planet. We've been using Duet for Windows for a couple of days now, and while it's not yet perfect the experience is thoroughly enjoyable.

Much like the OSX client, Duet Display for Windows is designed to be plug and play. You install the Windows client, open the app on the iPad, and as soon as you connect the Lightning cable to the PC the OS treats the device like a second monitor. A brief flicker occurs and you can now drag applications from one desktop to another, exactly as though you had a monitor connected via HDMI. The touch panel on the iPad works like mouse input, which means you don't get swipe gestures like you would on a native touch device but you can still poke and double tap to open and adjust things.

It's early days for Windows support, and as a result there's a few setups that don't work quite right. In our testing, SLI configurations aren't fully supported yet. Installing Duet Display on these setups will cause immediate problems on reboot, but uninstalling the app will quickly eliminate those problems. In talking to the developer, these problems will likely be resolved quickly. Every other environment we have available handled the app just fine, with exception to an occasional stutter in the Windows 8 full screen start menu.

This is by far the most elegant portable multi-monitor display out there today, especially if you're already using an iPad and a laptop on a regular basis. Duet Display is available today in the App Store for $15.99 (opens in new tab), with the Windows and Mac clients available on the Duet Website.

Russell is a tech nerd who chases the best of everything, from phones to game consoles to laptops and everything glowing or beeping. He's the Managing Editor of gaming content for Mobile Nations and can be found contributing to all of the Mobile Nations sites. Reach out on Twitter!

49 Comments
  • Before anyone complains... Windows Central caters to all Windows users. The most popular tablet and most popular desktop OS on earth will have a lot of cross over users. It's absolutely important to cover good apps and services such as this.
  • Agreed. Even as a staunch Surface user, I see this as a great development. Would be useful for my gf to use as a second display for her Yoga Pro.
  • Doubly agreed. Finally the iPad has a use--as a monitor for a real computer. Boom.
  • lol! everyday some gets the award for te funniest thing i see and you undoubtedly deserve it today!
  • I also agree, but is the mentioned Windows client really a client or is it just a server? The article talks about the iPad constantly, but does state there is a Windows client available. I shall try when I get home from work, as this would be dead handy to extend my desktop PC on to my Yoga 2 13 in tent mode just below it and the Yoga to my Encore tablet when out on a mission.
  • I may be a Dell Venue Pro 11 user, but a lot of Windows users will also have other devices, cater to them all!
  • That's what we're here for. You know what the comments section is like though!
  • I've been using the Remote Desktop app for iOS on my iPad Air 2 for a while now. It works flawlessly with all of my PCs running Windows 7, 8.1, and even the Win10 TP, but one can only be logged into a single session, (either on the PC(s), or on the iPad with the RD app).. With this, using the iPad as an extended display, will open up a ton of new possibilities.
  • It doesnt support windows 7 though.....
  • What game and what laptop? (a) all i care about xD
  • Looks like Elite Dangerous. But not sure what laptop.
  • I'd be sold if it didn't require the lightning cable and could do it over WiFi.  
  • Using the cable limits the lag. It is flawless on my MBP and ipad. I have used other apps that connect via wifi and the lag makes it unusable.
  • You don't want it to only work over WiFi - that is always hit or miss (especially in hotspots) and the lag ius very annoying (at least it was on an MAcBook Air/iPad combo).
  • No.
  • Get that fucking apple plug out of here ffs..
  • Hurray!!! I don't own an iOS device.
  • Neither do i, hurray!!!!
  • finally IOS is doing something useful, otherthan running games
  • "My" iPad? Lol
  • Great!!!!
  • Mum might like this. Will share with her. Also, good choice of game. Which flight stick is that though?
  • Older Saitek X52. I keep eyeballing the X55 but haven't made the jump yet.
  • Oh nice. I've got the Thrustmaster (err... O.o) HOTAS X myself. Really like it. Cheap but good value for money. Got a Razer Orbweaver gamepad to augment the lack of buttons on the HOTAS X though, so good enough for me.
  • What game is it?!?  Looks good :-)
  • Elite Dangerous. Very fun game. I've got a group on there as well. £40 on Steam for the game. Also, forgot to mention it's an MMO... RTS? I know it's an MMO something at least.
  • Is there any app that does this with a windows tablet? I mean extend laptop to a win tablet
  • Remote Desktop but you need to be on the same network.
  • Remote desktop isn't the same as extending an existing session to a 2nd display.
  • Doesn't have to be on the same network but some configuration on the computer will have to be done.
  • Yes I would love to know this too
    would be great use for my surface at work. Cable hook up would be even better
  • Splashtop has apps for IOS, Android, and windows. I know for sure they have an extender I just can't recall which platforms.
  • Yay! I might actually use my work iPad for something now!
  • So the iPad makes a great display for a Windows machine? Finally the iPad is useful. ;)
  • High-res display at that!
  • Ah man I was just gonna type that! The iPad is finally useful! Great minds think alike:)
  • Hehe...
  • Oh wow this is actually pretty sweet. I already have a 2580x1080 monitor (LG 29UM65-P) to have multiple windows opened at the same time but I still feel like I need a 2nd monitor, the only problem is that I don't have enough room on my desk to do it, so bringing over a tablet (hopefully they'll extend to Android/Windows tablets) and emulate it as a 2nd screen is pretty great.
  • Agreed...
  • Just as remark, if you're running SLI you had better not need this but for completing a review or test. I'm saying this as a laptop owner with SLI. Get real displays, hehe. But, yeah, hurrah for cross platform compatibility!
  • What laptop is that?
  • And for today only the app is discounted to $9.99 in the U.S.
  • I've never even touched my family's ipad. I hope to keep it that way :)
  • If I ever find myself with an ipad, at least I now know there will be some use for it!
  • So, if I get this right, I connect an iPad (9.7" diag. screen size) to a somewhat 23" or larger desktop monitor as an extendable 2nd screen using a cable. Just so I can do what?, gain what?, solve what again? on the 9.7" iPad screen? I have seen the usefulness of extending HP 7", DV8P windows tablet or any other small table of any platform to 23" monitor or bigger wirelessly and or wired using miracast, dungles or those display ports devices (I have one purchased for ~$120) that also accommodates keyboard, mouse, NIC, etc and are very portable(About the size of a power brick but lighter in terms of weight).  But why extend a big screen to small screen within the same confine of the desktop screen wired (as shown in the video) just do not sell any benefit of said use case. I am open to understand the benefit of that use case scenario if it can be explained to me.
  • Do you take your monitor on the road with you when you travel?
  • I love when people rush to dismiss something because they lack the imagination to see beyond their own immediate experience.   /s You may want to re-read the article. You do not connect the iPad to a monitor, you connect it to a PC. You could use this as a second screen when traveling. That would be my primary usage. But you could use it home at your desk. Maybe you have photos on your computer or a local server that you need to review- could be nice to lean back and do that with a very high resolution iPad. Or maybe you have a program, Windows app or browser tab you want to run in snapped mode so you can keep an eye on it- pop it over to the iPad instead so you can reclaim your primary monitor.  The iPad would also provide a touch interface, which maybe you don't have on that 23" or 27" monitor.   And though small, it is also moveable; position it just next to a hand where it will be easier to read and quickly tap.  Could developers who lack a Surface or other touch interface use it sort of like an emulator to see how an app might feel on a high-dpi Windows tablet? I'm not a dev so I may have completely made up the last one ;) Really, is there any reason not to take advantage of extra real estate?
  • Not really meant for extending a big monitor, it's meant for being able to take a second screen on the road. If you've got a laptop and iPad in your bag for trips, it can make a nice dual monitor setup in the hotel room. At home, I prefer a real setup, but I can see where it can be convenient for a serious business traveller. However, for a gamer with SLI and 3 27" monitors, they can use the extra small display to display status windows on CPU/GPU usage and temperatures, RAM usage, etc. Been there, done that. Great place to put monitoring widgets, especially for overclockers that are pushing the limits and testing the new settings.
  • This^^^