Well now, here’s an interesting new invention. If you’re one of the many people who owns both an Apple laptop and an iPad or iPhone, you’re going to want to read on. New Jersey-based company Ten One Design has come up with a way to physically attach your iOS device to your computer at eye level so you can see both devices at once. Maybe you use Spaces in OS X, but I never took to the concept so I often end up juggling windows, even on a MacBook Pro with a high screen resolution. And when I’m not at my desk, connecting the second monitor is pretty much a non-starter.
This is where Mountie comes in. If you have a compatible device, you can clip the two together. It’ll work with an iPhone 4 or later, iPad Air 1 or 2 and any iPad mini as well as any tablet or phone between 5 and 9 mm thick. On the computer side you can use any MacBook and any iMac made after 2012. These requirements are all related to fitting. Earlier iPads are much thicker and heavier than newer ones which means they wouldn’t hold properly. They say other laptops may work too so if you’re on a PC it’s worth asking.
The clip itself is very lightweight and has two sides, each with a locking clip and swappable insert. Five inserts of differing thicknesses are provided together with a reference guide so you can match the sizes to your devices. Clip Mountie near the top of your laptop screen and then the iPad/iPhone either in landscape or portrait orientation to the other side. All the parts that grip the hardware are rubber so there’s no danger of scratches, and the central stem prevents the iPad knocking against the metal of the screen.
It works very well, though perhaps inevitably the smaller your device the stronger will be Mountie’s grip. An iPhone is absolutely fine, my 6 held perfectly in place. In truth my iPad Air 1—now technically among the heaviest devices supported by Mountie—also held perfectly well but required very slightly more careful positioning of the clips for the best grip. It’s also worth mentioning that this thing works much better if you don’t move your laptop around while it’s connected as that will eventually make a heavier iPad come a little loose. In fairness, the manufacturer does state this on the website. Left stationary, even an iPad in landscape position held rock steady.
A little Clint while you work?
So why would you need a Mountie? Some of the suggested uses have been rendered a little academic by OS X itself. You can FaceTime from any recent Mac, both audio and video, and take cellular calls from OS X too. For my money, the most interesting use for this is as a second screen. Get yourself some software like Air Display, AirServer or something similar and extend your OS X desktop to your iPad or phone, even using Retina resolutions. Use it as a second, wireless monitor either at home or on the move. The other no-brainer is apps which are very iOS-focused. So you might have an audio or video streaming app running that isn’t available for the Mac, or that would otherwise use too much screen space. Run a live video feed and keep your desktop clear. For users with smaller screens like the MacBook Airs, this is a particularly useful idea. At the price, Mountie is well worth looking at and infinitely cheaper, not to say more flexible, than buying a second monitor.
Add a simple app like Air Display and use Retina desktop sharing!
Pros: Very clever idea. Comes with multiple adaptors. Fits all recent iOS devices and Apple portables. Expand your setup for minimal cost using gear you already own.
Cons: Doesn’t fit earlier iPads. Devices at the heavier end of the supported models can come slightly loose if you move the laptop around when connected.