Android App Review: Air Display

Preparation — last-minute, of course — for my presentations at ABA TECHSHOW 2014, highlighted the fact I haven’t reviewed one of my most regularly used apps, Air Display ($9.99). The app got featured as one of 2013’s Best Android Apps for Lawyers, but I also think it deserves a place on the “app review” pedestal. Air Display is a cheap and easy way to give your desktop or laptop another external monitor.

Air Display Abilities

I use Air Display off and on in combination with my office’s two monitor setup.

Air Display Desktop Setup

As you can see, I can add a third monitor to my desktop using my Android tablet — in this case, my ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity. Theoretically, I could also use my phone and Nexus 7 to give me 5 monitors, but I find the 7 inch screen’s a little too small for productive viewing.

Generally, I rotate my tablet to portrait mode (the picture shows landscape), so I can use full screen viewing. This improves my productivity, since I can see the entire page of a website or document, and quickly move between all of my screens.

Setup is a breeze

Avatron (Air Display’s developer) claims setup takes 5 minutes, and that’s certainly true. Quite simply, you install the Air Display app on your Android device, install the Air Display drivers for Windows or Mac, open the app on your Android device, and connect your desktop and Android.

Air Display Easy Setup

I use Windows 7’s multiple monitor feature to create a seamless and smooth flow between all of my monitors.

Windows Multiple Monitors

Using Air Display won’t be as smooth as having a monitor physically connected to your desktop or laptop — it works via your WiFi — but it’s close enough. This video gives a pretty good idea of just how easy Air Display is to operate (just replace “Mac” with Windows, and “iPad” with Android):

Not remote desktop

Just by way of clarification, in case you couldn’t tell, Air Display is not a remote connection application, like Logmein or Splashtop. Air Display gives your computer an additional monitor using your Android device.

Overall assessment

Air Display works, and the app works well. You’ll be pleasantly surprised with the performance and productivity increase. Air Display also allows you to zoom in to portions of the screen, thus maintaining the touchscreen functionality.

There are some user reviews in Google Play complaining that Air Display doesn’t work on particular devices.

Google Play Air Display User Reviews

 

I saw some similar issues, but found that my problems came from a conflict in my video card. Uninstalling a 3D feature in the card helped make everything alright.

If you’re seeing a black screen, check whether you can drag content over. If you can, then you’re just fine since most new screens start out blank. If not, a quick Google search might cure your problem (probably drivers related).

I love Air Display, and even with its $10 price tag, it’s well worth the purchase price. I’m giving Air Display 4.5 of 5 stars. Of course, now you’ll want to add more and more — is 5 really too many? — to your current desktop setup.

Get this app on Google Play

2 Responses to Android App Review: Air Display

  1. I have seen many systems that work fine, then just will not connect. It is probably a Windows update, but I can not prove it nor find any solution. The Air Display Mirror mode works fine, it is the Extended mode (the useful one) that does not complete the connection.

    • I recently had a similar problem with my computer. I discovered that there was a conflict with my Windows display driver (Nvidia in particular) that killed the connection. I end up disabling the Nvidia driver when I want to use Air Display.

      Perhaps a rollback on your display driver?

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Jeff Taylor

I’m just an ordinary guy living an extraordinary life. I’m also an attorney and I blog about Android for lawyers. You can follow me on Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, or Google+.