How to Use the New Sidecar Feature on iPadOS 13


One of the new features that will come to iPadOS this fall is Sidecar. Allows you to connect your tablet to your computer remotely to reflect the screen of your Mac.

One of the most interesting new features for Mac And the iPad this fall is Sidecar. First announced at the World Developers Conference (WWDC) in June, the Apple tool allows you to connect your tablet to your computer remotely. By doing so, you can mirror your Mac on your iPad, extend your Mac's screen or make your tablet serve as a high-precision input device for compatible Mac applications. Yes, this means that you can finally use an Apple Pencil with your Mac!

The sidecar officially arrives when Apple releases MacOS Catalina and iPadOS 13 later this year. Until then, the tool remains in the beta version.

What is Sidecar?

Products such as Duet Display and Luna Display have made it possible for mobile devices to act as a secondary screen for the Mac. With Sidecar, Apple brings the functionality directly to the macOS and iPad software.

Sidecar Configuration

To start using Sidecar, your two devices must be connected with a USB-C cable or wirelessly via Wi-Fi. Fi. Both devices must also log in to the same Apple ID, and Bluetooth must be active on both the iPad and Mac.

To activate a Sidecar session:

  1. Click Sidecar in Preferences of the system on your Mac.
  2. Under Connect to, click Select device .
  3. Choose your iPad from the drop-down menu.

  sidebar setup

Now the iPad is connected to your Mac, and you should immediately see your Mac's screen on your tablet.

Sidebar or touch bar?

When you connect your iPad and Mac, there are some configurations that you can adjust to suit your tastes. On the main screen of the sidebar, you can decide whether to show the sidebar or the touch bar of your Mac on your iPad and, if so, where to place them.

 Sidebar Configuration

Sidebar in Sidecar is where you'll find the controls and modifier keys most used in applications that support Sidecar. In the sidebar you will also find marking tools and those that allow you to capture a complete web page, document or email.

The touch bar is where you'll find the controls for compatible Apple Touch Bar applications, which are physically found on the latest generation of MacBook Pro models. In this case, the digital touch bar is available on your iPad, regardless of the Mac type.

In this example, the sidebar is on the right side of the screen, while the touch bar is on the bottom :

 sidebar and touch bar

From the Sidecar page, you can also decide whether to enable a double-click on a second-generation Apple Pencil when using an iPad Pro 2018 , and if a pointer is shown when using an Apple pen.

How to display

Once you connect your devices, you must decide whether you want to mirror the screens or simply extend the Mac screen to your tablet.

To make changes:

  1. Touch the icon AirPlay in the upper right corner of your Mac toolbar.
  2. Select Open Display Preferences .

  Open Screen Preferences


  1. On the AirPlay screen, tap the tab.
  2. Click on the Mirror Displays box if you want a mirror of your Mac's screen to appear on your iPad.
  3. When you want to extend the screen of your Mac to your iPad, I need to decide which monitor comes first, the Mac or the iPad. To do this, drag the icons that represent each screen on the screen.

In the following example, the Mac screen starts on the actual Mac and extends to the iPad:

 Sidecar Mac first

as an input device

Unlike other companies, Apple has never released a computer with touch controls. Sidecar will change this, at least to some extent. The star of this process is Apple Pencil. With Sidecar-compatible Mac applications, you can use your input device to write and draw through your iPad. Not surprisingly, applications that are expected to support this technology fall into the creative categories of illustration, photography and 3D. The titles include Adobe Illustrator, Affinity Photo, Maya and some others. Many of Apple's native Mac applications also support work with Apple Pencil.

This sounds exciting and, as a quasi creative, I can not wait to incorporate this type of interaction into my work process. For now, however, we mainly stayed with the Sidecar show that Apple introduced at the beginning of the summer. Although the process works to a limited extent in the current beta version of Catalina macOS, it is not a finished product. Without doubt, we will hear more about this once MacOS Catalina is released to the public. In any case, it will be interesting to see where this is going in the coming months and years.

 Sidecar Apple Pencil

Who can use Sidecar?

According to Apple website, the following Mac will support Catalina macOS:

  • MacBook, 2015 and later
  • iMac, 2012 and later
  • MacBook Air, 2012 and later
  • iMac Pro, 2017 and later
  • MacBook Pro, 2012 and later
  • Mac Pro, 2013 and later
  • Mac mini, 2012 and later

By contrast, the following iPads will be compatible with iPadOS 13:

  • iPad Pro of 12 , 9 inch
  • iPad 11 inch Pro
  • 10.5 inch iPad Pro
  • 9.7 inch iPad Pro
  • iPad (5th and 6th generation)
  • iPad mini (4th and 5th generation)
  • iPad Air (3rd generation)
  • iPad Air 2

If you have an older Mac, you may at least try using Sidecar, at least according to a Reddit poster.

What A Similar tools?

Apple has a history of incorporating features found in third-party applications into new native applications. Finally, the official application often exceeds the original or eliminates it. Known by many as "sherlocking", the practice is one of the risks of working as a developer for a popular and high-profile third-party application. For now, the creators of Duet Display and Luna Display adopt a wait and see approach when it comes to Sidecar's imminent debut.

In the TechCrunch talks shortly after Apple's announcement, the heads of both companies promised Avanza by diversifying what they offer. The founder and CEO of Duet, Rahul Dewan, explained: "The plan has been for the last two years to become another company for remote tools, for remote workers and people who travel a lot. That's the way we've been positioning ourselves, first by adding these features, like the remote desktop. In fact, we have a couple of other big product launches that are not connected to space this summer. We should be quite diverse. "

Meanwhile, Matt Ronge, CEO of Luna's Astro HQ, said:" Moving forward, we're going to double the service to the professional creative community. While Apple develops functions to satisfy the masses, we are always committed to creating products with full functionality and deep personalization for professional creative workflows. For example, Astropad Studio comes with features like magic gestures, application shortcuts and custom pressure curves. "

Bottom line

Sidecar's fate from here is something everyone guesses. that already exist and then try Apple's offer when it arrives. Stay tuned!

Apple is expected to release new versions of macOS and iPadOS in September.

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