Duet turns iOS devices into second screens for Macs

There are some studies that claim that productivity is increased manifold by a second or more monitors. Whether you buy that or not, it might be pretty handy at times to have that setup as well. But what if you don't have a spare monitor, can't afford one, or can't justify buying one? If you have an iOS device around, especially an iPad, then you're in luck. Duet is an upcoming app that will turn that those into an extended display for Macs.

Duet is made by a team of ex-Apple engineers, which is tantamount to claiming that they really know what they are doing and that they know their way around Macs, iPads, and iPhones. There are many "second screen" techniques out there, but few if not none of them are easy to use, lag-free, and high quality. That is what Duet is promising to bring users, at least when it gets out. One interesting part of the promise is that you will be able to use your iPad's full touch screen capabilities even when simply acting as an extended monitor.

Duet is described to turn your iPad into a Cinema Display, Apple's previous panel monitor. Like the Cinema Display, it seems that Duet will make use of a wired connection between a Mac and the iOS device. Whether that will be a new proprietary cable or not, Duet isn't saying yet. Actually, pretty much everything else about Duet is still wrapped in mystery, which probably adds up to the excitement. Of course, on the iOS side it will be an app. Duet will be compatible with most modern Apple models, including Macs running OS X 10.9 and higher and iPads and iPhones running iOS 5.1.1 and later.

The downsides? The app isn't available just yet, so you will have to wait a bit before the promise becomes a reality. And of course, you'll need a Mac, which means that iPad wielding PC or Linux users are going to be left out of the party.