Air Display app turns new iPad into 2048×1536 monitor

“If you’re like us, you haven’t slept since March 16 because you’ve been enraptured by your new iPad with its stunning 264-DPI Retina screen. And you may have been wondering when Air Display will support the 2048×1536 resolution,” Avatron reports.

“After Apple announced the new iPad on March 9, we worked like mad to add Retina resolution to Air Display. We got done in time, but of course we couldn’t ship the Air Display update until we had tested on a real iPad. Just in case,” Avatron reports. “It worked like a charm in the iPad simulator. Unfortunately when we got our new iPads and tested performance, we realized that the 4x increase in pixel count was killing our frame rates. So our engineers rushed back to the laboratory to experiment with codec settings, image filters, color spaces, threaded decompression, and god-knows-what-else.”

“Finally we’ve got it working with good speed. What’s more, through all of this performance tuning and profiling, we’re delivering dramatically better frame rates on other devices as well. Especially the iPad 2 and iPhone 4S, which have dual-core CPU like the new iPad,” Avatron reports. “Not only that, but this update will let you take advantage of Retina resolutions on iPhone 4 and 4S as well.”

“So you will be able to use your new iPad as a 2048×1536 computer monitor. But that’s not all! On Mac OS X Lion or Mountain Lion, you’ll be able to turn on HiDPI mode. HiDPI is a hidden feature in Mac OS X that renders with double-resolution on a double-resolution screen. To turn on HiDPI, you just go to the Displays Preferences and select 1024×768 (HiDPI),” Avatron reports. “HiDPI has been shipping with Mac OS X for some time. But it isn’t enabled in the System Preferences, because until now there hasn’t been a mass-produced computer display with high enough resolution to do it justice. That’s where Air Display and the new iPad come in.”

Avatron reports, “So, stay tuned. We need to wait through another Apple review cycle before this goes live but we think it’s going to be worth the wait.”

More info and download link for Air Display for iPhone and iPad (US$9.99) here.

Related article:
Air Display app promises to turn your iPad into an extra Mac monitor – May 18, 2010


  1. Better not set it at 2048×1536 as the display with the Menu Bar, because the Menu Bar will be microscopic. 🙂

    (But I guess you could use 1024×768 with “HiDPI” to make the Menu Bar a reasonable size.)

    1. Yeah, but seriously, once you use HiDPI mode, your monitor will not feel so good…

      I personally can’t wait for apple to release its 27″ Monitor with a retina display and onboard GPU/Hard drive combo (seriously, for what they charge for an apple display…. those should be included… especially with thunderbolt… It would be awesome.

  2. To be precise, the 22-pixel menu bar will be 22/264″ high, or 1/12″ (2.1mm). At 1024×768 (HiDPI) that would be 1.6″ (4.2mm). That would look pretty sweet!

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