I’ve previously written about how useful it is to have access to Windows on an iPad via Splashtop 2. Today I took it a step further, when my iPad ended up being the only device in our study group capable of outputting to the large screen in the room, due to the cables we had available.
The setup uses the BTstack replacement Bluetooth stack for iOS, available to jailbroken devices. Through the apps BTstack Keyboard and BTstack Mouse, both available to jailbroken devices in the Cydia store, I was also able to connect a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard. iOS supports Bluetooth keyboards out of the box, but because you have to use BTstack to make the mouse work, you also need to connect the keyboard through BTstack software.
Add to that a VGA adapter – the kind of adapter that you don’t get for most Android tablets – and Splashtop 2 (which lets you remote control a computer over the internet), and you have yourself a pretty capable Windows setup. Being able to throw on some accessories to the device I already use to turn it into a functional Windows system when needed is great, and shows what is actually possible.
As for how the setup works in practice, it isn’t half bad. I wish Splashtop could detected the external monitor and adjust the resolution accordingly – something that’s perfectly possible in iOS – but I guess that’s wishful thinking. Using a mouse is a bit weird, as the mouse first emulates touch screen input, and that input then emulates a mouse in Splashtop. As such, right clicking the mouse does nothing, because you don’t right touch a screen. Instead, holding down the left button translates into a long touch, which in turn translates into a right click. A bit weird, but it works. For longer sessions I’d definitely bring my laptop, but for the quick trip into Windows, it works well. Obviously the mouse and keyboard also works in iOS, so it’s not like you need to carry equipment specifically for use with Splashtop.