Air Display update available with critical bug fix


A couple of days ago we introduced version 3.3.3 of Air Display for iOS. It had improvements aplenty, but unfortunately it also introduced a crash bug. We scrambled to fix that, and last night version 3.3.4 went live. If you are seeing a crash bug, please update Air Display 3 in the App Store.

If you are using Air Display for Mac, please update that as well, to version 3.3.3 in the Mac App Store.

And there’s a new version 3.3.3 of the Air Display Host software for your main Mac. Download Air Display Host.

Air Display on Catalina


UPDATE: This post is no longer accurate. We fixed this installer bug in April 2020. The latest Air Display host software works fine on Catalina.


The Air Display host software works great on Catalina once it’s installed. But unfortunately there’s an issue with our installer on Catalina. When you try to install Air Display, Catalina will block our installer, claiming it’s incompatible.

We are working on resolving this installer issue, but at this moment, it requires a workaround. We are very close to releasing this new version of the installer [UPDATE: As of April 9, we thought we had it done today but found a show-stopper bug.] So if you can, I would recommend just waiting a couple of days. And when we will release a new Air Display Host Software installer, we will send out a newsletter with more details. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for our newsletter at the bottom of the Avatron home page. (Don’t worry; we don’t send out newsletters very often.)

If you really don’t want to wait, then in the meantime, you can install the Air Display Host with this workaround:


  1. Restart in recovery mode: Hold down ⌘R during startup.
  2. Launch Terminal: In the MacOS Utilities screen, pull down the Utilities menu from the top of the screen and choose Terminal.
  3. Enter this command (followed by the Return key), to temporarily disable SIP (System Integrity Protection):
    • csrutil disable
  4. Restart Catalina.
  5. Launch Terminal, this time from the Applications ▸ Utilities folder.
  6. Enter this command to unmount the installer volume:
    • sudo mount -uw /
  7. When prompted, enter your Mac password. You will not see it on the screen.
  8. Install Air Display host and ignore the error message that Air Display Host is not suitable for this MacOS.
  9. Restart. (Now you can use Air Display host on Catalina. Not just for now, but even after the following steps.)
  10. Restart once more in recovery mode: Hold down ⌘R during startup.
  11. Use Terminal a final time to execute this command, to reenable SIP (you really do want SIP enabled, generally):
    • csrutil disable
  12. Retart.

One more thing: After installing, normally all will be well, but on some Macs you will only see the desktop image on the Air Display screen, onto which you can drag the cursor but no windows or Finder icons. If this is the case, there’s one more step. To get the Air Display screen to update properly, you will just need to enable Screen Recording in the privacy settings. Apple has locked this down a bit recently. Please go to System Preferences ▸ Security & Privacy ▸ Privacy ▸ Screen Recording. You should see Air Display Host listed in a box at the right. Just enable its checkbox to allow it to “record the contents of your screen, even when using other apps.” (You may need to click the little padlock and enter your password to allow the change.)


Why do we have to do all of this on Catalina? Well, years ago, Apple had driver developers install kernel extensions (like Air Display’s video drivers) in the System ▸ Library ▸ Extensions folder. Then they locked down the System folder and had us install into Library ▸ Extensions.

When we made this transition, we needed to remove our old drivers, if you had them, from your System folder, before installing the new ones into the Library folder. We put that cleanup operation in the Air Display host installer. That worked fine until Catalina. Now, when you run our installer, macOS scans our installer code and says, “Hey, these guys are trying to access the System folder! That’s not allowed!” and they block us. We are in the process of modifying our installer so that it no longer does that cleanup. We will send out a newsletter when it’s ready. Thanks for your patience!


Jared Newman, PC World

“One simple way to get some extra mileage out of an old tablet is to turn it into a dedicated PC monitor. Even with just 7-inch tablet, you can use the extra screen to keep an eye on instant messages, email, or social networks. If you’re working with photos, video or music, the second screen could even serve as a dedicated space for toolbars. It’s also an easy second screen to pack up and take with you.

I suggest Air Display.”

Jared Newman, PC World


~Eric Schwarz,

It’s hard to go wrong with Air Display—the low price, intuitive interface, and wide range of compatibility make it appealing to a wide audience.”

~Eric Schwarz,

Air Display 2 – Now shipping!


On October 18, we launched Air Display 2 for iOS. We’ve been working on this new edition for a long time, and we’re delighted to have finished it.



Air Display 2 lets you use a number of iPads as extra monitors for your computer. You can mirror your main display onto these extra monitors or you can extend your desktop to get more screen real estate. So far, our Mac video drivers support up to four devices, while the Windows drivers support only one. But we’re working on the multiple-client support in Windows now. Watch this space! (Subscribe to our Twitter feed if you want to be notified when we get the multi-client support in the Windows drivers.)


We’ve also completely redesigned the workflow in the computer host. The old interface was a sort of generic text-based menu. The new design is interactive and much more intuitive.


Maybe the most significant change in Air Display 2 is optimization. We’ve done a lot with OpenGL rendering to speed up rendering. We’re employing the CPU and GPU in parallel to get all of the performance we can out of the mobile device’s hardware.

(Geek Alert!) We’re stunned by the performance of Apple’s new A7 processor. The A7 features 64-bit processing and OpenGL ES 3. Until now, OpenGL ES 3 has been available only on the iPhone 5s. But in two days, the iPad Air and the iPad mini with Retina display will ship, sporting speedy new A7 processors and OpenGL ES 3. For Air Display, the primary new feature is OpenGL’s “tile-based deferred rendering.” This rendering optimization allows Air Display to render the screen much more efficiently. The result is beautifully smooth updates that let you forget that your second (or third) monitor is on a wireless iOS screen.


We decided to release Air Display 2 as a new app, rather than a free update to the existing Air Display app, for a number of reasons. A big one was that we needed to drop support for the first-generation iPad. Recent builds of Apple’s Xcode app development tool have made it very difficult to support both iOS 7 and iOS 5 in a single app. And since Apple dropped iPad 1 support in iOS 6 in September 2012, we needed to create a new app to take advantage of iOS 7’s awesomeness without forcing our engineers perform feats of intellectual contortion.

Releasing Air Display 2 as a shiny new app lets us concentrate on building for the future without having to break existing users. If you already purchased Air Display 1, it will remain available for download in the App Store, while only Air Display 2 is available for new purchases.

We hope you love Air Display 2 for iOS! If you do, please consider leaving a user review in the App Store.

Aaron Hirst,

Avatron’s second attempt to provide a solution to wireless monitor extension is all-but flawless in its overall execution, while also arriving practically indispensable in its end results. ~Aaron Hirst,


Tech Gadgets

“On our list of the must-have iPad productivity apps: Air Display.”

Tech Gadgets

How to Augment Your Computer with an iPad

“You have a bunch of different options to turn your iPad into a second display, but we prefer Air Display as the easiest option.”