Using the iPad with the Mac, as a desktop console

David has been talking about this for some time. I initially gave it a try in November. I have an old iPad 2018 that lives on my desk now, underneath my Mac display and in front of the keyboard. It displays the clock, Carrot Weather, the Fantastical month calendar, and upcoming Fantastical appointments. I like the clock and Fantastical to be sure I don’t lose track of time and miss appointments. The weather is there because, well, it’s the weather.

This seems to have gone beyond being a gimmick. It’s just part of how I work ordinarily.

I use Universal Control when I want to use a keyboard and mouse with the iPad, which isn’t often.

Here’s my setup:

I’m posting here to say that if you haven’t tried this—if you think it’s just a gimmick—give it a try.

P.S. As you can see, we’re getting into hot season here in San Diego. Around now we start paying for the great weather we get the rest of the year. We can expect a half-dozen or dozen—or more!–100+ degree days between now and late October. That’s nothing compared with what other parts of the US have been going through this year. But, still, Do Not Want.


I am also finding the iPad dashboard a nice part of my workflow, and I couldn’t live without it while working now. I often launch apps on the iPad as a second screen (using universal control) when I need to read or reference something, but most of the time, the dashboard is a really easy way to see what needs doing.

Here’s a picture of mine:


What iPad stand are you using? I know it’s been said before but I don’t recall. Thanks.



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Doesn’t it keep turning off the display?

I have mine set to be always on (settings → display → auto-lock → never), so the dashboard is always visible.

I just added the Apple News widget to my console—though I fear it will be distracting.

Another way to go would be to just have it render a webpage (locally hosted on your network?) with autorefresh.

not sure if there is another thread, but I would be interested to know what apps folks are using on their dashboard. I’ve been using my 11’ 2018 iPad Pro as a 3rd screen for work for some time now. It sits below my monitor. my 2020 M1 MacBook Air sits to the right of my monitor. Typically, I have Fantastical and OmniFocus on it, each taking up half the screen. My MacBook Air typically has my teams chat on it. I use my main monitor for what I’m working on.

I’m toying with the idea of using the iPad as a dashboard and only using it in sidecar mode if I need to move something like a teams call or zoom call onto it so I can continue working on my main monitor.

In addition to the view of your monitor/iPad setup, the view outside your window is pretty sweet as well.

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I find this idea intriguing, but am a bit afraid of damaging the iPad screen when it’s always on and a more or less static image.
Has anybody experienced something like image retention with their iPads? I’m probably biased because my 2015 iMac suffered from more and more image retention issues :unamused:.

I’ve got an old iPad and have even invested in a stand for it. I just can’t get it to stick - when it’s on I never look at it, probably because I haven’t found the right widgets (eg the Omnifocus widgets are completely unacceptable).

You’ve inspired me to give it another go!

If I wanted a dashboard I’d probably use a small monitor. Seems like using an iPad instead of an $80 display is a bit extravagant.

Right, but that’s something you purchase. If you already have a spare iPad, it’s far cheaper :smiley:
Also, it’s not like you can only use the iPad for that. You can have it as a dashboard when you’re working, and as a video player when travelling.