VGA out apps

During a recent webinar discussion on iPads and accessories, mention was made of A/V cables and projectors. Since I already have the Rocketfish Composite A/V cable for iPod, I decided to spend some time experimenting with the cable hooked up from my iPad to my television and using as many VGA out apps I could find in the app store.

First, they all worked. In fact, with Keynote ($9.99) you don’t need any additional app to project a presentation. With the cable connected, I just clicked on the arrow in the upper right corner and each slide was on my television screen. Keynote does not mirror your iPad screen. The iPad screen is dark with arrows to advance or back up. You can jump to any slide, and you have a “laser pointer.” By the way, making slide presentations in Keynote is easy, very easy.

Here is the list of VGA out apps I used for my experimenting:

web2vga $.99
Mirrors iPad screen as you surf, pinch and zoom, it’s 99 cents.

Expedition – VGA, Composite, Component Out Web Browser $.99
Mirrors iPad screen, works nice, intuitive menu, and also 99 cents.

2Screens LE $1.99
(I think LE must stand for Limited Edition, not as full featured as Expert) web browser and document viewer, just type in an address and display is mirrored, quick and easy, pinch and zoom, watch YouTube full screen on television.

Webprojector $2.99
Mirrors iPad screen but has awkward interface and is slower than the other VGA apps.

2Screens Presentation Expert $3.99
Does everything 2Screens LE does plus make folders, add tabs, get photos from your albums, and more.

Projector! $4.99
iPad screen shows both mirror image and control pad but does not have features or benefits of similar priced apps.

Like every other app shopping experience, after some quick experimenting and quite a bit of fumbling, I found which app was best suited to my needs and teaching style. I kept trying different things with each app and kept coming back to 2Screens Presentation Expert. Even though the interface is not as user friendly or intuitive as I like, it seemed more reliable and had more features.

I almost missed one. GoodReader for iPad can mirror your screen and it is only $.99. Show PDF, keynote files, etc.

During this experimenting, it was helpful to read the reviews for each app in the app store. But I always temper the advice I see from others with my own experience and my own priorities. Sometimes a free or 99 cent app will do all that I need. Other times, I invest in something that has features I don’t even understand but I recognize that it is a tool I will be using often and I like knowing the extra capacity is there if I ever need it.

One other thought about customer reviews in the app store. When I buy a car, I always remember, I am also buying a dealership. Visit the developer’s website, look how often the developer offers upgrades, and read what customers write about customer service.

Good Luck

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8 Responses to VGA out apps

  1. Thanks for doing the research on this… This is very helpful James! After you mentioned Keynote in conjunction with the AV cable, I am curious about looking at how Google Docs or SlideShare presentations display in conjunction with the VGA cable. I will add that to my list of things to research. Thanks for a great post!

  2. coryarts says:

    Thanks so much for these James. I didn’t realize good reader could mirror! I so appreciate your posts and all of the research.

  3. Jamie Kasper says:

    Ah, I hadn’t read far enough to see you already answered my question about the VGA adapter. :0)

    • I will be posting some more on the cable because my rocket fish cable broke (I helped it to break) so I am going to Best Buy to exchange for an apple brand and test it. If you are going to leave the cable in the output device you will be okay but when I was moving the rocketfish from tv to tv, the cable came loose from the connector and eventually broke.

  4. I am just beginning this adventure and have discovered why I could not log on to anything. Am I the only one who is having difficulty unlocking the automatic caps lock? Aafter many searches, I found out how to use the automatic shift key on the ipad. I think I wasted about 3 hours of inquiry time with unsuccessful attempts.
    On a positive note, I am a hit with my 4 yr old grandson. He waas utterly hooked for 2 straight hours exploring about 5 different apps. I tried to share some photos with his great g ma but he just whisked thru them, much to
    her dismay. She also can”t wait for another visit.
    I have many autistic students in my classes and let a 3rd graders do the Sunflower puzzle, he was so engrossed. I think the snapping noise got his attention. He always finishes first so I turned it on in a corner so he and his aide got use it. Once the class saw the ipad, it was hard to keep them from being distracted. Distracted, are you with me?

  5. Anonto says:

    Hi James and other: really phenomenal and helpful blog. I am a dedicated iPad user since it’s release. Now experimenting with vedio out thing- before going for an app purchase, I need to make sure that I can see my iPad email client mirror on my HDTV/projector etc. Can any one suggest the app for the purpose.

    It seems like 2screen is better , is it or any other recommendation ?

    Thanks Indeed.


    • Thanks for the comment.

      My research and use of 2screens was done with iPad not the iPad2 and not the newest iOS. The iPad2 advertises that it does mirror but I don’t have any experience with that. 2screens only mirrors as you use it as a browser and what you set up in advance as files for it to mirror (much the same as keynote does). So you will probably not be able to mirror your email client. Remember, things are different from iPad to iPad2 and changes occur with iOS upgrades plus there is a difference between a composite and component cable. There is a Best Buy store with an Apple rep near me and I always check with him to make sure what I think will work will actually work and that I can take something back if it doesn’t work.

      Good Luck


  6. James Ritchey says:

    You can use 2screens but you will have to bookmark them or put them in the 2screens home directory folder. If you have web based mail, you might be able to see them live because 2screens does project web sites (other apps also say they project web sites, Projector, Perfect Web Browser, Web Presenter, but I don’t have any experience with them, just what I read in the app store ) If you are just showing the content you might want to copy the content and paste it into another app. 2screens is pretty good but the keynote and brushes apps are more stable. With the new iPad2 there are connectors, cables and updated OS that mirror the iPad screen directly with no additional app. I don’t know about this at all but it is a featured being advertised.

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