Dual Screen Apps in iOS

Judit Klein, Auckland University of Technology

If you’ve used apps such as Keynote, Real Racing II, Ducati Challenge HD or Zombie Gunship, you’ll notice that they take advantage of a secondary display to show secondary content. Utilising a secondary display in combination with the inbuilt hardware of the iPhone or iPad can create an immersive and engaging experience for your users in gaming, media and education contexts.

However, you’ll find that there is opportunity here where there is a lack of apps which utilise this capability. The default behaviour of any app when connected to a secondary display, either through AirPlay or wired connection, is to mirror exactly what’s on the screen.

This session covers how to build apps which externalise content beyond the device; by understanding Windows and Screens in iOS, learn how to detect if a secondary display is connected and how to handle where to show content.

The session also highlights the bigger picture around how this can be effectively implemented within different contexts, thinking differently about the interaction such an app would enable, creating an interplay between devices, content, screens and spaces.


Judit is a student at AUT University, integrating iOS development as a core component of her research for the Master of Creative Technologies degree.

She also works at the Centre for Learning and Teaching at AUT as a Learning and Teaching Technology Enabler (or, LATTE), assisting in the professional development of staff with specific focus on technical literacy and iPads in teaching, research and education.