Dongletown advice sought - mirroring iPad Air 2 display, soon to be iPad Pro

I have an old iPad Air 2 (lightning) that I’d like to display on my monitor. However, I plan to upgrade to an iPad Pro (USB-C) late this year. Consequently, I’m going to need an extra adapter at some point, even though I know that daisy-chaining adapters is an almost-certain recipe for frustration.

My options are:

  1. Purchase a lightning to HDMI adapter now, and then purchase a USB-C to lightning adapter when I upgrade to the iPad Pro.
  2. Purchase a lightning to USB-C adapter with a USB-C to HDMI adapter/cable now, and then ditch the lightning to USB-C adapter when I upgrade to the iPad Pro.

My preference would be the latter, as I’ll only need the extra dongle for one year. But I’m concerned that old iPads may not know how to deal with USB-C. Consequently, looking for advice from wise people!

Option 1 is out:

Only support charge and data transfer, NOT support audio or video via this adapter.

I would expect similar problems with Option 2 as well.

A third option could be the Apple TV and just Airplay to it. Of course a lot more expensive, even for a second hand Apple TV, but it should have a lot longer usable lifespan than the soon-to-be-obsolete Lightning-to-HDMI adapter.

I use AirServer to mirror my iPad to my MBP. The caveats are

  • It requires that your iPad and computer be on the same WiFi network (IOW you must have WiFi on the desktop even when hardwire ethernet may be faster)
  • It requires that your WiFi routers support Bonjour services (this has recently become an issue with upgrades done to my work network)
  • The desktop version does not support split screen (I have a feature request in on this because it will be useful to project a presentation in one split screen and show annotations being done on the iPad [with ZoomNotes] in a second split view)

As for doing the reverse (using the iPad as an extra monitor), see the discussions here about the LunaDisplay.


If we’re looking at wireless options here, it might also be a good idea to investigate ezcast dongles. Plugs direct into an HDMI port and allows you to receive mirror your a screen and audio without an AppleTV (if you don’t already have one. There’s a range of them— a search in Amazon should pull something up if it sounds viable.

Interesting. I see however two issues. First, the dongles broadcast their own private WiFi network. I have to wonder what havoc that may play with the officials at our IT department.

Secondly, the dongles plug in to the HDMI port. I am already using the HDMI on my MBP to go out to the projector.


I think you really want a Lightning to HDMI adapter for now and then get a USB-C to HDMI adapter when you get the iPad Pro, rather than trying to daisy-chain something together. You may be able to pick up a used Lightning adapter on the cheap from someone who’s already done the USB-C upgrade.

I second @ChrisUpchurch’s comments. Also if you own an iphone this way you also keep the option to mirror your iphone as well. (Always handy in a pinch)

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Yep. That’s why I’m hanging on to my Lightning adapters even though I’ve got the new iPad Pro.

I do exactly the same, always have it in my bag

Thanks all for the feedback!

@ChrisUpchurch - looks like that might be the way to go.

Part of me does wonder if I should shell out $100 more for an Apple TV instead, but that might be a touch extravagant! And MacRumors does recommend exercising caution in buying an Apple TV at the moment.

If I can get a second-hand lightning to HDMI adapter, that would indeed be best… Checking eBay yields some bargains, but how can I tell if they are genuine Apple-made or counterfeits?

The lightning to hdmi probably needs to be Apple but the USB-C to hdmi can be generic. You can probably get away with spending less than $20.

USB C to HDMI Adapter (4K@60Hz), uni USB Type-C to HDMI Adapter [Thunderbolt 3 Compatible] for MacBook Pro 2018/2017, iPad Pro/MacBook Air 2018, Samsung Galaxy S9/S8, Surface Book 2 and More - Gray