Avatron Software’s Air Display iOS app has been around since 2010, providing a way for Mac and PC users to use an iPhone or iPad as a second screen over a Wi-Fi connection. That method of connection was fine… although there was a bit of lag due to network latency and the connection sometimes outright failed. In January of 2015, a competitor — Duet Display (US$7.99) — hit the scene, and immediately captured the minds and wallets of a lot of users simply because it used a fast Lightning connection rather than Wi-Fi, allowing instantaneous updates with no lag. Avatron has wasted no time bringing Air Display up to snuff with Air Display 3.0 (US$14.99), which also bakes in features formerly found in the company’s Air Stylus app.
To work properly with a Mac (Air Display 3 doesn’t work with Windows… yet), you need to first install the free driver application onto your desktop or laptop computer, and then reboot. Once that’s done, plugging a Lightning cable into your iOS device enables the display connection and your iPad or iPhone (running Air Display 3.0, of course) becomes a second display for your computer — complete with touch control.
Unlike Duet Display, you can still use the Wi-Fi connection for wireless control of your Mac if you’d like. Air Display 3.0 also includes the features of Air Stylus, which means that you can pair a pressure-sensitive stylus like the Wacom Bamboo Stylus Fineline or Adonit Jot Touch to your Mac, then use your iPad or iPhone as a graphics tablet for your Mac. I tested the Wacom Bamboo stylus as a pointing device on my Mac, and it worked beautifully. For artists or graphics designers, this is a wonderful and inexpensive way to get a pressure-sensitive graphics tablet.
Here are some of the best free apps, app updates and new apps that have landed in the App Store recently. All app prices are USD and subject to change. Some deals may expire quickly, so grab them while you can.
Apps Now Free
Actions for iPad [iPad; Now free, down from $1.99] Actions transforms your device in a smart and customizable controller for your Mac or PC, revolutionizing the axioms of computer interaction.
iOOTP Baseball 2014 Edition [iOS Universal; Now free, down from $1.99] Guide your favorite baseball team to glory! Out of the Park Baseball, the most realistic and best-selling baseball management game ever created.
Cradle of Egypt (Premium) [iPad; Now free, down from $4.99] Meet the astonishing Cradle of Egypt – a gorgeous mash-up of fulfilling match-3 pleasure and splendid city-builder that will up-end everything you knew about puzzles!
NFL Kicker 15 [iOS Universal; Now free, down from $0.99] Become an NFL Kicker! Choose your favorite team and kick off the ultimate kicker challenge for 2015!
NFL Quarterback 15 [iOS Universal; Now free, down from $0.99] Choose your favorite team and start the official NFL QB challenge for 2015! Get the Super Bowl XLIX Update today!
Alertic – Weather Alerts [iPhone; Now free, down from $0.99] Get all the weather alerts into your notifications centre in advance.
Toca Hair Salon [iOS Universal; Now free, down from $2.99] Cut, color, comb and blow-dry lifelike hair on six different cute characters.
Printer Pro – print documents, photos, web pages and email attachments [iOS Universal; Now free, down from $6.99] Print attachments, documents, web pages and more right from your iPhone and iPad to any Wi-Fi or USB printer.
Apps On Sale
iThoughts (mindmap) [iOS Universal; On sale for $1.99, down from $9.99] iThoughts is a mindmapping tool for the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch (Mac version also available.)
How to Cook Everything [iOS Universal; On sale for $6.99, down from $9.99] This first-of-its-kind app of the bestselling cookbook—How to Cook Everything® from New York Times columnist Mark Bittman—has 2,000 recipes, 400 how-to illustrations, and a host of features that appeal to cooks on the go.
Duet Display [iOS Universal; On sale for $7.99, down from $15.99] Duet Display allows you to use your iPad or iPhone as an extra display. Developed by a team of ex-Apple engineers, duet is the first high performance solution that has zero lag.
Machinarium [iOS Universal; On sale for $1.99, down from $4.99] Universal (iPad+iPhone) version of the award-winning adventure game from the makers of Samorost and Botanicula.
Space Age: A Cosmic Adventure [iOS Universal; On sale for $1.99, down from $3.99]Space Age is a game of cosmic adventure. Set in the retro-futuristic sci-fi world of 1976, it follows a small but determined band of intergalactic explorers who land on a seemingly uninhabited planet, Kepler-16.
Botanicula [iOS Universal; On sale for $1.99, down from $4.99] Botanicula is a humor-filled adventure game created by the makers of award-winning Machinarium, studio Amanita Design and Czech band DVA.
New and Notable Apps
Mayhem! [iOS Universal; $0.99] MAYHEM! is the frantic, frenzied 2D arcade game.
Joe Dever’s Lone Wolf Complete) [iOS Universal; $9.99] Lone Wolf is back, as a video game series with a brand-new story, a new combat system, stunning graphics and much more!
Updates you don’t want to miss
PicStitch [iOS Universal; Free] Quickly combine multiple photos into one beautifully framed picture. Version 4.8 brings the following changes:
- You can now swap images by simply dragging an image into another frame
- The stitch you are currently working on is auto-saved locally so you won’t lose your work
- Other new features
- Border thickness is now controlled from a slider giving you more control
- Create your own layout
MLB.com At Bat [iOS Universal; Free] MLB.com At Bat returns for the 2015 season with live Spring Training baseball from the Grapefruit and Cactus Leagues. MLB.com At Bat is the official app of Major League Baseball. Version 8.0.0 brings the following changes:
- New UI for all 30 team pages & the league-wide scoreboard (iPhone only)
- Player search expanded to include all active and historical MLB player cards (iPhone only)
- Re-designed UI for the newsreader (iPhone & iPad)
- Team-by-team statistical data filters (iPhone only)
- Native resolution to optimize At Bat for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus
- Easy access to every game with new team schedule navigation (iPhone only)
- Application available in Spanish language, requires device language set to Spanish (iPhone & iPad)