Everyone seems to be talking about the latest updates to the app “Duet Display“, which is a useful app that allows you to turn your old (or current) devices into an extra screen for your PC or Mac. At the start, it only supported iOS, which means you could easily turn an iPad into an additional screen but Android was left in the dust.
Now, Duet Display also supports Android devices as well, which is grand. Who wouldn’t want to turn that unused tablet you have sitting in a drawer into something useful?
You download the Duet Display app onto your Android or iOS device to do the same on your Mac or Windows PC. Set everything up and now you have an additional monitor/screen to work with. You can do it wirelessly over Wi-Fi (in which the developer claims to offer zero-lag, but we will talk about that in a second) or wired using USB-C (the device has to support USB-C natively vs simply adapted using cables).
If it worked flawlessly, this would be a necessity for gadget lovers, as an extra screen is an extra screen. Especially when you consider the costs of alternative methods like Razer’s Project Valerie or Slidenjoy, as well as next year’s Microsoft Surface Neo (although I think the Neo wins simply thanks to its cool factor and flexibility).
Of course, the highlight now is my use of “if it worked”. Other news sources have praised Duet Display, leaning on the promise of “zero-lag”, however, it still needs some work before it becomes a staple app. Mostly because it will run you $9.99-$19.99 depending on if you get it on sale or not.
Taking a look at the feedback of their users, it seems they still heavily focus on iOS more than anything, some pointing out that the instructions reference iOS and never discuss Android. So there is some thinking you have to do in order to figure out how it all comes together when using an Android device. Also, despite the claim of zero-lag, it does seem that users are experiencing noticeable lag over Wi-Fi.
So, for now, it would be smart to go into it assuming that it will work best when linking an iPad to your Mac or PC. Expect Android to not be as smooth, and plan to go wired if possible. If your tablet doesn’t support USB Type-C, then you might be best waiting for now. Or if you think you may be using this in the future, the app is currently on sale in the Android Play Store (future investment if you follow through with using it later on).
As long as they continue with the improvement and scalability of the app, it should have quite the future and win a place in the collection of most commonly downloaded tools. Mostly because every gadget lover is going to have a tablet just waiting to get more use out of.
Now hopefully they could also get the device to respond with the PC/Mac’s settings for display timeout or screen saver in case you walk away for any given amount of time.
We will make sure to follow up with the app as it progresses to see where it goes in the future, looking to see how they deal with any compatibility troubles.