Welcome to the land of multiple monitors. The land where you can sit on your desk and immerse yourself with your work, your gaming, and your media. A land where our inner geek comes out and takes complete control over you while salivating over the amount of real estate those screens possess – not to mention how amazingly cool it looks.
But. This land can get a bit daunting. There is a lot of space to use, as well as applications to manage and keep organized. To facilitate this process, we have put together a list of a few apps (old and new) that will help you manage windows, the menubar, and even use other devices as your external monitors.
Lets start this roundup with something that isn’t out yet, but it should be out this month if Apple keeps their word. AirPlay Mirroring is one of Mountain Lion’s features that lets you, well, mirror your screen onto another display hooked up to an Apple TV. Now, yes, this isn’t a dual monitor, but it does provide you with more real estate. Adding more displays can be possible.
Price: $19.99 (Mountain Lion upgrade)
Our second app is a small one, but it can be rather useful as it’ll speed up your workflow. Secondbar, as the cool little picture says, allows your to have a menubar on your second screen. The app comes with a few settings that you can play around with, so give it a try.
Need to move all your windows from one monitor to the other really fast? Well, have a look at Swapp. Swapp allows you to do just that with just a few key strokes. This app works with many kinds of monitors, even when using your iOS device as your second monitor.
TV Row is a small app that simply lets you display Front Row on your external monitor. I personally use this little app, and it works as advertised. Even better, it is free!
DisplayPad is our first iOS-device-as-a-second-screen app in our roundup as it transforms your iPad into a second screen. There are a few requirements to follow with this app, however. Snow Leopard users are covered, while Lion users with NVIDIA GeForce 9400M are not supported as stated on the app’s website.
Price: Mac app is Free, iPad app is $2.99.
This app is a bit like Secondbar, but it goes beyond what Secondbar does. It does duplicate your menubar on other screens, but it can also attach a menu bar to the app window or even pop-up the menu using a shortcut. Either way, your menubar will be pretty much everywhere.
Power Mover is a handy tool that will also help you move windows from one monitor to the other with ease. This app also animates how windows move, so if you like that kind of thing, give it a try!
Have an old iMac or Windows PC collecting dust somewhere in the house? If you are looking for a second monitor for cheap, why not just use that one? ScreenRecycler will help you with the process. You can use many computer monitors, even Windows PCs. Now, if only my old HP’s screen wasn’t completely broken and useless…
Need to keep your displays tidy? Manage your workspaces with Display Maid. This app helps you keep windows organized across all your external monitors. This app even saves window positions.
(mac to mac, mac to android etc)
Air Display is the power house when it comes to using other devices as your second monitor. With this app(s) you can use your Android, PC, iPad, iPhone, or Mac for a second or third monitor. If you have any of these laying around, I reckon you should get it.
Price: Mac app is Free, iOS app is $9.99.
Synergy is a nice app that easily lets you share your mouse and keyboard between multiple displays and across operating systems. It is free and open source, so have a look at this one.
Ah, yes, this is our first mouse moving app and while it isn’t as awesome as a Stargate, it can help you get your mouse from one screen to the other real fast. So, if you are always misplacing that mouse, this app can help you.
This app, according to the website, “improves the way multiple applications are managed on a multi-monitor set-up”. It goes with the Matrox DualHead2Go Digital.
Want to have one awesome image as your wallpaper across all your monitors? Check out Multi Monitor Wallpaper. It does an amazing job at arranging your image to be displayed across many monitors.
iDisplay is another app that helps you use your iOS device as a second display. This one is five bucks, so if you are on the look out for a simple and low cost solution, you have this one here.
Price: Mac app is Free, iOS app is $4.99.
If you always set up the same working environment, perhaps you should check Stay. Stay helps you keep your windows wherever you want them to be at all times. It can store many different arrangements. The only complain that may bug some, is the price.
Window Mover is yet another application that lets you move windows across monitors with ease. It also helps you with resizing your windows.
Have you lost your mouse whilst using multiple monitors? I have. Kind of annoying, isn’t it? EdgeCase allows you to enclose your mouse in one display so you don’t misplace that mouse. Hold a hotkey and you’ll be free to move across monitors with ease.
Mirror Display is like one of our previews items. It simply lets you stream your current screen content to another computer. The website says that this can be done with iOS devices and PCs or Macs as well. You can connect up to 10 computers.
CatchMouse is a free alternative to moving your mouse from one screen to the other with a simple shortcut. When you move the mouse, it will always be in he middle of the screen, so you don’t have to worry about finding it.
Want to play content across multiple monitors? Check ArraySync. It will help you use your monitors to view a quicktime video from one source. This is great for trade shows, conferences, offices, or just your living room.
Mouse Warp is another “wrist saver” application that enables you to move your mouse to other screens with ease. This one relies on active applications. Check the link for all the details!
Optimal Layout is normally used to organize your workspace, but if you have multiple monitors hooked up to your main computer, you can use Optimal Layout and take advantage of all its power.
This is another app you wouldn’t think to use with multiple monitors, but it does support that function. Window Magnet enables you to stick windows in certain areas of your screen and the windows will fit in perfectly.
Flexiglass is another great window management app that works great with multiple displays. It even comes with some great multi-touch gestures.
If you want window management at a lower price, Double Pane is one way to go. It works much like Windows’ snap feature does but you can also tweak it and make it work for your needs.
Another window management tool that works great with multiple monitors is BetterSnap Tool. This one gives you visual help when you’re trying to rearrange your workspace. It is also a buck less than the one above, so shop around and see what suits you best.
SizeUp is a quick and easy way to resize your windows with many keyboard shortcuts. It also supports a multiple monitors setup, so you are good to go with this one. If you purchase it and don’t like it, return it within 60 days and get your money back!
MenuPop allows you to access the menubar as a context menu. It is quite useful when you are working on another monitor and you need to access the menubar.
Yet another awesome app by Binary Bakery. This one allows you to move and resize your windows. This one also works well with multiple monitors, so check it out!
So, there they are. These are just a few apps for your multiple monitor setup that’ll help you with a wide variety of tasks. Granted, some are a bit old while others are new and updated often, but there are many people out there who will find some of these useful.
If you have some multiple monitor apps (or hardware for that matter) that you enjoy, feel free to comment below; the comment section needs your love!