iPad as screen monitor?

Discussion in 'iPad General Discussions' started by Tuttle, Sep 15, 2013.

  1. Tuttle
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    Tuttle iPad Fan

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    My old iPad one still works fine but has been seperceded by my iPad 3. I have a mac mini desktop computer that I love.

    Due to its small size, I can easily take the mac mini with me on vacation trips---but would hate to worry with that seventeen inch outboard monitor.

    I am therefore wondering if I can use my iPad 1 as the only monitor for my mac mini? I use the word "only" because I know I can use one as an extension screen. My question is---is there an app which allows me to boot up to the iPad as the system screen?
  2. giradman
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    giradman iPad Super Guru

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    Well, not sure - maybe some 'remote desktop' app might work, i.e. app on iPad 1 remotely showing your Mac Mini? But, my iPad 2 w/ the Apple BT KB has replaced my laptop when we are 'on the road' - our main needs are to check email, look at a few forums, and browse the web (for local events, activities, restaurants, etc.) - SO, just wondering why the iPad 3 w/ a keyboard would be all that is needed? I'm assuming that you have some business activities that required a non-iPad solution? Dave :)
  3. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    Just for the heck of it I fired up Splashtop, a remote desktop app, to see how it would feel operating it 'only' as a screen. It was a tad laggy, but usable.

    While Splashtop is a remote control app, it does echo your screen no matter where the input comes from; so it is feasible to use it (or most other remote desktop apps) as a primary screen. The trick is to make sure that the computer side of the application loads automatically on boot. Splashtop does, and I suspect most other will also do so by default. If not, it's easy enough to add auto start apps using the Login Items in a User's profile (Settings > User > Groups > Login Items tab).

    You'll want to tweak the Mini's screen resolution so that apps look OK on the iPad's rather small screen.

    If the remote app crashes, you'll probably have to reboot the Mac Mini. Anything goes wrong with the process your Mac Mini will useless until you can hook it up to an external monitor.

    Also, you'll need to be on the same wi-fi network with both the iPad and Mac Mini. To be certain it will work you'll probably want to carry your own router, as settings in hotels or other places may block device to device communications (for security reasons).

    All in all, it's probably too fragile a setup to be depended on if the computer must-work-or-else.
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  4. Tuttle
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    Thanks, Dave and Twerpoet.

    It's not a do or die situation. Being retired, we have a winter home in the Yuma, Arizona area where we spend the coldest three months or so. I just want to be able to use the mini now and then for such things as backing up, maybe ripping a dvd, and other things that are just easier on the desktop. Also, I have a nook reader that requires the desktop to convert downloads from the public library. (I like to read my fiction on an e-ink reader for it is more like holding a paperback.)

    Actually I have Spashtop, but I tried this selfsame thing a year ir so ago, and my recollection is that it didn't like to boot to the iPad. Is there a special setting fr making the desktop version of the utility load on boot?
  5. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    Not that I've noticed. The desktop app configured itself to auto run on boot when I installed it. Check to make sure you are running the most recent version of the desktop client; maybe even delete and reinstall it from scratch.
  6. LannyC
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    LannyC iPad Addict

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    As much as I love my iPad, in your situation I would simply buy a second monitor/keyboard/mouse for the other house. As the Romans said, "Nolite id cogere, cape malleum majorem.*"



    *Don't force it, get a bigger hammer.

    This post handcrafted from 100 percent post-consumer recycled electrons.
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  7. giradman
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    giradman iPad Super Guru

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    Coincidently, I just updated Splashtop on my iPad 2 - loaded their streamer onto my new MBPro (need both programs) - iPad mirrored by laptop quickly and w/o a problem - changed tabs w/i my browser on the MBP and changes appeared immediately on the iPad - SO, works for me - now for a mini Mac w/ your needs you would have to setup the Splashtop streamer and keep the program active; plus, not sure how you would boot up the Mac w/o viewing the login screens etc. on a monitor? Also, the communication via these Splashtop components is via Wi-Fi (assume that is available in your 2nd home)?

    After you mentioned that you spend 3 months in your 2nd home, I'd probably agree w/ Lanny - assume that you have a KB & mouse for the Mac already, so a small monitor should be all that you need - probably your best option. Dave :)
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  8. Tuttle
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    Tuttle iPad Fan

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    Thanks guys. All good info. The reason for wanting iPad monitor rather than getting a second one---well, actually two:


    1. Second home is very small, so not a lot of space for a monitor.

    2. Also, I wanted to beat the planned obsolence (sp?) syndrome and find a practical use for my iPad1.
  9. twerppoet
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    Like Windows, you can turn off the login screen and have it boot straight to the primary user. Not a good security call, but doable.

    Thanks for pointing that out. I completely missed it.
  10. Tuttle
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    Tried it out and it seems to work pretty well. I think there might have been an update or two since I tried it before.
  11. twerppoet
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    Cool.

    Have you tested it without the external monitor, from a cold boot? Best to be sure it works exactly as you need it before relying on it on the road. And don't forget to test it with whatever wi-fi router you'll have with you.
  12. giradman
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    giradman iPad Super Guru

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    Agree - that initial boot away from home is the big test! Good luck, Tuttle​ - looking forward to hearing about your results - I'm sure that there are plenty of the first & 2nd generation iPads laying around in closets that could be put to better use? Dave :)
  13. Tuttle
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    Yes, I did a cold boot. It took a while, with me fretting and twiddling my thumbs, but Splash Screen did recognize the mac and showed the desktop.


    Too bad, though, that I don"t seem to be able to use the mac's keyboard. Seems the only way to control the mac is from my iPad.

    Good point about the router. I will probably take along the one from my main home.

    BTW, I have a generic question about this situation that is also pertinent to Apple TV: does the interaction occur through the external internet or through the local connection. In other words, will it still work if the isp is hors de combat?
  14. Tuttle
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    Weeeeeell!!??


    After playing around with it for a while, I can report that it works---but only sorta! Very sluggish response, and when I tried to access my account at my local library on Safari some of the controls wouldn't work. So, sigh, gotta' keep looking.

    Can anyone reccomend a fairly good VERY SMALL monitor.
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2013
  15. giradman
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    giradman iPad Super Guru

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    Hi Tuttle - appears that your attempts have ALMOST worked out, but I agree that a non-iPad viewing option is your best choice.

    First, do you have an HDTV in your second home, preferably w/ an HDMI input option? If so, a consideration? Second, if not then you might want to decide on buying an HDTV instead of a monitor - a small TV would not be too expensive and would give you some other choices?

    As to a monitor, some of the better brands that I've seen/read about are Viewsonic, Asus, & Dell but there are so many - a google search on 'best computer monitors' or a look on the PC Mag or PC World websites will probably give you plenty of choices w/i your price range. You have a number of video output options on the iMac Mini, including HDMI, so you'll need to decide 'how' to connect and make sure all is compatible.

    Good luck w/ your selection - shout back if you still have questions and hope others will 'chime in' - Dave :)

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