iPad/Android: Want to eke out a little more value out of that tablet? Turn it into a second monitor for your PC or Mac and extend your screen real estate. This is especially handy for laptop users.
Several apps are available to extend your desktop onto your tablet. How-To Geek offers a tutorial on setting up Air Display, which is $9.99 for the iPad app in the App Store, but most of the apps seem to work similarly: Install the server software on your Windows or Mac computer, then run the app on your tablet.
How-To Geek notes some added functionality in Air Display, including the ability to mirror your desktop rather than extend it—useful for when you want to show someone what you’re doing on your computer for teaching purposes, for example. Two other neat tips are using the iPad as a form filler (drag the form to the iPad, hand it to a client and have them fill it out with the onscreen keyboard) and using the iPad’s touch capabilities:
You could, for example, drag a Photoshop window onto the extended iPad desktop and then use a stylus to draw on it or place the calculator app on the iPad screen and use your finger instead of the mouse to punch the keys.
A similar, less expensive app for both iPad and Android is iDisplay. It’s $4.99 at the App Store as well as on Android Market. iDisplay works with both Mac and Windows and got fair reviews for the iOS version.
Because of some reviewers citing lag issues with iDisplay on Android (iOS users seem to like it well enough), Android users might want to look at newer and much less expensive ($0.99 for a limited time; normally $1.99) ScreenSlider. The downside is it only works with Windows PCs.
Whichever app you try, using your iPad or Android tablet to extend your screen might boost your productivity. Or, of course, you could use the tablet on its own as a productivity-boosting tool.