It is now possible to display your iPad to a projector screen using the white charge & sync cable that came with your iPad.
There are many ways to display (or record) your iPad to your class over wifi – but in my experience they’re all pretty flaky.
X-Mirage, AirServer, Reflector, AirParrot, Doceri, AppleTV… etc —They all rely on both your iPad and your computer (or AppleTV) being connected to the same WiFi network. That’s probably fine in your own classroom but it won’t work if you go to a conference or a colleague’s school. Even when it works I find it kludgy. If one or other of your devices drops it’s wifi connection for a second (not uncommon), your display will freeze. Also if the WiFi network is being taxed heavily there is often quite a bit of lag – especially for video or graphics intensive apps. Also some apps don’t mirror faithfully over Wifi – nor even if the iPad is directly connected to the projector with a $60 lightning-VGA cable. For Example, NoteShelf or Penultimate, when connected to a projector directly or via wifi, don’t show the tools palette.
My Preferred Solution
It’s now possible to display your iPad to your class by connecting it directly to your Mac using the lightning-USB cable (the same one you use to charge your iPad). Once your iPad is connected to your Mac, launch QuickTime Player (in your Applications folder). From the File menu Choose “New Movie Recording”. This will open a movie window and show your web cam. If you hover your mouse over the window you will see a floating recording palette. Next to the record button, there is a small white V icon. Clicking that will let you select your iPad as the camera source! Of course you can record it if you want to – but you don’t have to – you can just use it to show your screen to the class.
- Unlike using a wifi connection, the display won’t drop out if the wifi connection drops for a moment.
- Unlike using a wifi connection, there is no lag – It’s super-responsive.
- You can use it anywhere – you don’t need an internet or even wifi connection.
- When using QuickTime Player, your class sees exactly what you see on your screen even in apps like NoteShelf and Penultimate. That is not possible using any other method.
- It costs nothing – unlike using a lightning-VGA adaptor ($59)
- Unlike using an adaptor to connect your iPad directly to a VGA cable, the lightning cable is light and flexible – so you feel less tethered to the desk and the cable is less likely to fall out (though compared to wifi you still can’t walk around the room), obviously. That’s the one disadvantage.
- Unlike using an AppleTV or lightning-VGA adaptor, you can easily switch back and forth between your iPad and Mac – or display them both at the same time.
- This only works if you are using OS X.10.10 Yosemite. It didn’t work on older versions of OS X. Nor does it work with the Windows version of QuickTime.
- This only works with iPads that have a lightning connector (not the older 30-pin dock connector). Ie. It works with iPad Air, iPad 4, and all iPad minis. It also works with iPhone 5 or later.