Even though I love how portable my 2015 MacBook Pro (13-inch) is, sometimes, when I am working on my desk, I wish I could have an extended display without shelling out big bucks. Similarly, my iPad Mini 4 is mostly relegated to watching Netflix, and I often wonder how I can use it more productively. Turns out Apple’s going to make both these wishes come true with the upcoming Sidecar update.
What will Sidecar bring to Apple’s Macs and iPads?
Sidecar was revealed by Apple at the WWDC last week and is a new feature which will allow you to use your iPad as a second display for your Mac. It will be coming to Macs via the Catalina OS update and to iPads via the iPad OS update, expected this fall.
Once both your devices are updated, you will be able to extend your Mac workspace by using your iPad as an extended display. This will work wirelessly and is kind of a big deal (via Bluetooth) – given how a good chunk of Mac users already own iPads, and will now be able to use them beyond watching videos and browsing the web.
For those who are wondering, you can also use the Apple Pencil on your iPad and mirror the result on your Mac within supported apps.
The Sidecar feature will also include a mirroring option, perfect for sharing your screen with others, whether you’re watching a movie or giving a presentation.
How to Use the Sidecar Feature?
After your devices are updated, you will be able to hit AirPlay and select the connected iPad to use as a secondary display or a mirrored display. When you use the iPad as a secondary display, you can have different apps or tabs open on your Mac and on the iPad. For me, that means I can be working on my Mac while having my trading screen open on the iPad for a quick glance at the markets.
Will your Mac Support the Catalina Update?
In order to use Sidecar, you will need to install MacOS Catalina, which will be available for the following Macs:
|MacBook||MacBook Air||MacBook Pro||Mac mini|
|2015 and later||2012 and later||2012 and later||2012 and later|
|iMac||iMac Pro||Mac Pro|
|2012 and later||2017 and later||2013 and later|
Will your iPad Support iPadOS Update?
You will also need to update your iPad to iPadOS, which will be available for the following iPad versions:
|12.9-inch iPad Pro||iPad (6th generation)||iPad Air (3rd gen)|
|11-inch iPad Pro||iPad (5th generation)||iPad Air 2|
|10.5-inch iPad Pro||iPad mini (5th gen)|
|9.7-inch iPad Pro||iPad mini 4|
Which Apps Currently Support Sidecar?
Some of the major design apps will support Sidecar from launch, meaning you can extend their functionality across your iPad display, including using palettes and Apple Pencil.
|Adobe Illustrator||Final Cut Pro||Principle|
|Affinity Designer & Photo||Painter||Substance Designer & Painter|
Get the New iPad with Apple Pencil Support
If you want an iPad to use as a secondary display and be able to use Apple Pencil, you don’t necessarily have to buy the iPad Pro. The new iPad 9.7 inch now supports Apple Pencil and is available at a discounted price of $249.