This free app turns your iPad into an HDMI monitor

The iPad was already pretty great but now you can turn it into a monitor by plugging almost any HDMI source into it thanks to this free app.

1 minute & 6 seconds read time

The iPad is already arguably the best tablet on the planet but it would be even better if you could turn it into a monitor at will. And sure enough, now you can do just that thanks to a cool new app that won't cost you a thing.

That app is Orion, and it's been put together by the same people who created the popular Halide camera app on the iPhone. Once installed on an iPad running iPadOS 17 or later, and assuming that iPad has a USB-C port, you'll be able to plug just about anything into your tablet. and see what's going on.

The uses here are pretty obvious. You could plug a laptop into an iPad to get an external display, for example. Other ideas floated by the Orion team include a portable gaming monitor that would allow you to plug an Xbox, PlayStation, or Switch into it for on-the-go gaming. A more professional use? Photographers and videographers can plug their iPad into their cameras and get a live preview of what they're capturing, too.

The app itself is free for download via the App Store at the link below, and it'll work without any purchase.s There is an optional $4.99 in-app purchase if you want to unlock filters and 4K upscaling, but you won't need them if you just want to get things up and running.

One thing you will need, however, is a USB-C video capture card. They're available for around $15 online and are nice and small, so they won't take up a load of space in your iPad bag.

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Based in the UK, Oliver has been writing about technology, entertainment, and games for more than a decade. If there's something with a battery or a plug, he's interested. After spending too much money building gaming PCs, Oliver switched to Apple and the Mac - and now spends too much on those instead.

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