iDisplay: Turn Your Android Devices Into A Second Monitor

idisplay-photo

When you connect two (or more) monitors to your computer, you can drag an application window from one to another monitor. Now, what if your second monitor is your smartphone, or tablet and you are able to drag window to it and interact with your fingers? Sound cool, isn’t it?

iDisplay is one such app that allows you to turn your mobile device into a second monitor. It was launched a year back for iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad. A new Android version was made available last month and it now works on a Android smartphone and tablet.

There are two parts to make this app work. You have to install the desktop client (available for Mac and Windows) and the mobile app (supports blackberry, Windows Mobile and several Symbian models too).

Download the iDisplay desktop client for Android.

Install it in your system. Once it has finished installing and configuring your display settings, you should see the icon lying at the system tray. Hover your mouse over it and you should see the IP address and port detail. Record this down.

idisplay-icon

Next, install the iDisplay app from the market (The app costs $4.99. You can also download a free trial version from the ShapeServices site).

Run the iDisplay app. Make sure that your computer and your mobile device are connected to the same WIFI network. On the first run, it will scan the local network for the iDisplay desktop client. If found, it will auto connect to it. If not, you will have to enter the IP address and port manually.

idisplay-enter-ip

Once you are connected, you will be able to use it as a second monitor.

idisplay-main

While this app is cool, the only practical usage I can think of is to make your desktop application touchable. By moving your application to the mobile device, you can interact with the application with your fingers (zooming, paning, tap to activate features). But even then, the performance is often slow and undesirable.

If you are using a netbook (with 10.1 inches monitor), using the iPad or Android table as a second monitor is also a great way to double the screen size of your computer. This can be really convenient, especially when you are on the move.

One thing to note is that the Android app force close several times while I am testing it for this article.

You will want to get this only if you own a tablet. Using it on a smartphone with small screen doesn’t fulfill any needs at all.

iDisplay for Android