Orion: Use an iPad as an External HDMI Display

Speaking of Sebastiaan de With, Lux — makers of Halide — have a new app out:

Orion is a small, fun app that helps you use your iPad as an external HDMI display for any camera, video game console, or even VHS. Just plug in one of the bajillion inexpensive adapters, and Orion handles the rest.

More fun than what Orion does is how it does it: with flair and character. You even have to “unbox” it on first launch. It’s genuinely perplexing to me how this just-for-the-sake-of-fun style of UI design has fallen so out of favor. Apple went flat and no-nonsense with iOS 7 all the way back in 2013, and the rest of the world went flat and no-nonsense ever since. That was an entire decade ago! Maybe it’s just wishful thinking on my part, because I personally crave a return to depth and texture and whimsy in UI design, but the pendulum has to swing back toward skeuomorphism eventually. Orion is definitely a step back in the direction of that ethos.

(It’s not all gimmickry either — Orion’s CRT emulation modes should make retro video games look much more like how they were originally intended to look.)

Thursday, 5 October 2023