Sunday, February 8, 2015

Duet: Macbook Pro And iPad Air, Awesome and Creative Use of the iPad For Increased Productivity

Most worker drones have an one-screen work routine.  One laptop, one screen.  Or phone or tablet.  However, there are many who deal with multiple screens to increase efficiency.  Recently, I've come acrossed an app called Duet for the iPad (iOS App Store) and Mac (Duet Website).  By downloading the app from the app store for the iPad and a version for the Mac, you can turn your iPad into a second screen via the cable that Apple provides with your iPad.

I can rave about the virtues of having a second-screen, but what good is that if I don't provid examples of how having a second screen can increase productivity?  And I reckon it can also work for entertainment as well.

My photo doesn't do justice to Duet but you get the picture, right?  So, what am I doing or will be doing with this app?  I recently started getting into writing as a hobby.  And this universe I've conjured up is vast and elaborate that I constantly have to switch between windows of a writing app I use on the Mac called Scrivener.

With Scrivener, I have multiple projects which means multiple windows opened at the same time.  I can switch between the 5 to 7 windows but having a second screen has cut down the number of switching.

I've also started dabbling in programming.  I'm a total novice when it comes to it.  So, I have multiple resources opened to help me get what's going on.  I'll tell you this about programming.  Maybe I don't have the talent for it, but I don't see how people who Apple brought onto the stage during their media events can just start programming elaborate apps in just a day or two.  However, I'm never one to turn down a challenge from Apple and, much less, one from myself.

How is the performance?  Pretty good actually, contrary to the early days just after Duet was released back in December 2014.  Multiple issues can be found at the Macrumors forum but from what I can see, I have not had any of the issues users experienced.  So, I reckon those issues have been addressed.

To test and see if there are issues or lags, I tried to stream Netflix off Chrome.  Check it out.

Looks okay, right?  Not bad.

The one major concern I have is the issue of battery life if you're on a Macbook.  The iPad continues to draw data and power from the Macbook.  If you're on a desktop like an iMac, this really won't be an issue.

Having said that, it's unlike you're going to be at Starbucks with your Macbook with an iPad tethered to it.  First, it just doesn't look all that cool.  Second, it's unlikely the bistro table at a coffee shop have enough room for a Macbook, papers or notesbooks, and an iPad.  Plus, the coffee and pastry.

For home use like I have setup now, I'm loving it.  My Macbook Pro is running off the outlet so battery is not going to be an issue.  And though I like to take my Macbook Pro to backyard and enjoy the outdoors on weekends and some evenings as we get more light now, it's only for a couple of hours so even if my 7-hour Macbook Pro is cut down to half that, I'm still okay.

Another use?  Poor man's trading system.  If you're a day-trader, I'm sure it is still a viable business for many folks, it's a good and cheap way to get started if you're just starting up.  You can have charts upon charts with a second screen.

On top of that, if you have a HDTV and Apple TV set up, you can potentially have a third screen.

Right now, I've got my social apps on the iPad.  Also, it allows me keep things away from the main screen while I work and with glances see what's going on with my Twitter, mail, and messages.

If you happen to have a better use for Duet, please share with the rest of us.

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