Meta Portal owners can now use their devices as a second screen for PC and Mac – TechCrunch
Portal, the beleaguered smart display brand launched in 2018 by Meta (then Facebook), is would have slated for phase-out as the company refocuses the product line on the business. Ahead of the transition, Meta is releasing new features – possibly some of the last for current owners, depending on the case – that turn Portal screens into a second screen for PCs and bring the video calling experience to Macs.
Some Portal devices (specifically the second-generation Portal Plus and Portal Go) now support Duet Display, a application which extends the screen of a PC or Mac to allow users to drag open windows as they would with a second monitor. Meanwhile, the new Meta Portal Companion application for Mac places Portal call controls in a macOS widget, providing shortcuts for screen sharing, mute, and volume adjustment, as well as sending meeting, video, and site links Web to a paired portal.
“In today’s hybrid work environment, having a comfortable and convenient workspace is more important than ever,” Meta wrote in a blog post. “Meta Portal is now an even more useful productivity tool for your home office.”
Portal was Meta’s attempt to make a splash in the smart display market, which some analysts estimate already worth billions of dollars worldwide. Among its unique features were a camera that can zoom in and automatically track people’s movements, a mechanism to tilt the screen, and integration with Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant. Meta then released a Portal set-top box designed to plug into TVs and the aforementioned Portal Go, which is battery-powered and portable.
After bad sales and an intimacy controversial which did Portal a disservice, Meta began to change tack, launching Portal for Business in February 2021. The software package allows any Portal device to act as a conference room orchestrator, support various third-party calling platforms as well as connect to business apps. like calendars.