Meta is taking advantage of the burgeoning work-from-home culture to introduce two new features that turn its Portal smart displays into second screens for PCs and enhance the video-calling experience on Macs.
Duet Display for Portal+ and Portal Go
Most video-conferencing devices sit unused until it’s time for a weekly family catch-up or team meeting. But instead of gathering dust on the kitchen counter during off hours, the Portal+ and Portal Go can now do double duty as second displays.
Portal devices now support Duet Display, a third-party app that turns Android and Apple phones and tablets (and now Portals) into a second screen for a Mac or PC. Download it on your Portal from the app store and on the Mac or PC via duetdisplay.com. It’s available for free in Australia, Canada, France, Italy, New Zealand, Spain, the UK, and the US for Portal+ (Gen 2), and in Canada, France, Italy, Spain, the UK, and the US for Portal Go .
“You can work on multiple apps, juggle complex tasks, and get things done faster—so you don’t need to take up desk space with a separate monitor,” according to Meta, which assumes your WFH setup already includes a Portal device in the vicinity.
Meta Portal Companion App on Mac
Mac users with a touch-based Portal (Go, Plus, 10-inch, or the now-defunct Mini) can tap into the Companion app to share their computer screen while on a call. Available for free in the UK and US, the feature provides quick access to controls for raising your hand, muting yourself, and adjusting the volume. It also lets folks send meeting, video, or website links to view on a connected Portal.
“In today’s hybrid work environment, having a comfortable and convenient working space is more important than ever,” Meta says. “Meta Portal is now an even more useful productivity tool for your home office.”
Even before the pandemic popularized video calling, Meta (then still Facebook) was hawking smart displays to connect people virtually. The first Portals began shipping in late 2018, with more desktop and TV-friendly devices rolling out through 2021.
This summer, however, there were reports that Meta will end consumer sales of the Portal—selling them until it runs out of inventory—and instead focus on marketing it as an enterprise device. The existing lineup includes four models (all currently on sale): 10-inch Portal ($49), 14-inch Portal+ ($299), HDTV-compatible Portal TV ($49), and battery-powered Portal Go ($149).