Orion App turns your iPad into a beautiful gaming monitor

The Orion app connecting an Xbox Series X to an iPad mini

The Orion app connecting an Xbox Series X to an iPad mini

The gorgeous screens of Apple’s iPad tablets can now be used as external gaming monitors for your Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series or PS5 consoles. Using Orion, a free iOS app, your iPad can display any game you can think of.

With the arrival of iOS 17, Apple has finally added the ability for the iPad’s USB-C connector to act as a video-in port. Using a $15 USB-C capture card, you can connect any HDMI output to your iPad that you want.

Combined with the Orion app, free on the App Store, you now have an amazing gaming monitor with a huge degree of customisation. No matter what you wish to display, the Orion app allows you to tweak the visual playback with some cool features.

Alongside an AI 4K upscale option, the app also offers picture adjustment options such as brightness, saturation, blue light, and more. Additionally, there’s even a CRT filter for anyone playing retro games via HDMI such as with the EON XBHD adapter.

Unfortunately, there are some caveats for using Orion. For starters, these advanced picture options do require the purchase of Orion Plus, a $4.99 upgrade. Furthermore, it also requires the use of a cheap USB-C capture card — typically around $15 — to convert your console’s HDMI signal to a USB-C input.

Nevertheless, Orion is a great way of getting a portable gaming monitor using a device you already own. For those with a 12.9-inch iPad Pro with 120Hz playback, your iPad instantly becomes one of the most beautiful portable monitors you can possibly get.

The arrival of Orion on iPad devices is just one part of iOS 17’s massive expansion of its USB-C support. With USB-C finally available on the new iPhone 15, and ray-tracing on iPhone 15 Pro, Apple is finally adding more functionality to its devices. While it’s still a closed ecosystem, there is some semblance of an open environment.

iOS 17 is currently available right now on compatible iPhone and iPad devices.

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