Hi Anon, my setup is very similar to yours. Here is what I have found:
You are correct in that ExploreStars on iPad must be the only app running, and iPad must not go to sleep.
I have the “Using FW” box active, and it stays that way. I also have the “Show Alignment Data” and “Auto Align Off” selected.
I use the PS Align Pro app to aid polar alignment. I do not use the mounts PA tunnel. I use the live view screen on my Nikon D5500 dslr and lens, with the PS Align Pro to “offset” Polaris with the NCP. It works pretty well. I may then select my first target, but for better and more consistent results will follow up the PA with a 2 Star Alignment.
So, regarding dslr photography, I can consistently get 30” exposures, and sometimes as much as 80 seconds. But beyond 30 is increasingly doubtful.
I am also a Mac user. I plan on installing Parallels/Windows so I can change the 100 to serial mode instead of WI-Fi, (which ExploreStars uses) and use a serial cable to control the mount. I have an ASIair arriving today, so that will control many programs, and control it with my iPad. First I will use it unguided, then guiding later on.
I’m always learning.
Vero Beach, FL
Mounts: ES iExos 100-PMC Eight, ExploreStars iPad, Fire HD8
Scopes: ES ED80CF, ES AR102, Meade ETX 90 EC (Deforked)
Software: MacOS, Starry Sky Stacker, Affinity Photo, Lightroom, SkySafari Plus
Cameras: Nikon D600, D5500
Misc: ES USB Power Bank, Rigel QuikFinder, 0.8x Focal Reducer, Filters:
Optolong L-Pro, L-eNhance