Working seamlessly between iPad and Mac with Sidecar in iPadOS 13 and macOS Catalina

Apple’s all-new Sidecar feature, coming in macOS Catalina this fall, enables users to extend their Mac desktop by using their iPad as a second display or as a high-precision input device across creative Mac apps.

John Voorhees for MacStories:

The core experience of using Sidecar is fantastic. Part of the reason is that running an iPad as a second display for a Mac with Sidecar is immediately familiar to anyone who has ever used multiple displays. The added screen real estate, portability, and functionality are part of the appeal too. Of course, there are differences that I’ll get into, but Sidecar is so close to a traditional dual-display setup that I expect it will become a natural extension of the way many people work on the Mac.

Apple made it clear when they introduced Catalyst in 2018 at WWDC that it’s not replacing macOS with iOS. Some tasks are better suited for a Mac than an iPad and vice versa. Sidecar acknowledges those differences by letting an iPad become an extension of your Mac for tasks best suited to it. At the same time, however, Sidecar takes advantage of functionality that’s unavailable on the Mac, like the Apple Pencil. Combined with the ability to switch seamlessly between using Mac apps running in Sidecar and native iPadOS apps, what you’ve effectively got is a touchscreen Mac.

MacDailyNews Take: Even in beta form, Sidecar is an intriguing look into the future of Mac and iPad symbiosis.

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5 Comments

  1. This at last seems to be producing the Mac iPad hybrid functionality I have been begging for for 5 years or more. It will eventually be fantastic for illustrators but heading into semi retirement whether I will be able to take much advantage considering the likely investment in updating especially the specialist software I would assuredly need is a little unlikely sadly.

  2. The iPad. A riddle wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a conundrum.

    In other words, what is the iPad? Why is the iPad? When should I iPad?

    When is a computer not a computer but is computer?
    Why was this different type of computer really necessary?
    Do you need an iPad?
    Should you buy an iPad?

    To all these questions, Apple just says “Yes.”

    I have been using sidecar on a 12.9 inch iPad Pro and an 11 inch iPad Pro. It’s useful. I liked keeping extra apps open on the iPad. I.e. notes, calendar, and email while I worked in a main app on the MacBook like Invoicing. Then I thought I could just open Notes, Calendar, and Email on the iPad without doing sidecar and still have those reference apps available. Then I thought I could also be doing invoicing on the iPad or I could have it all available on the MacBook Pro and just use Mission Control or and once again found myself enveloped in the enigma of the iPad.

    I like that I can switch between sidecar and iPad mode on the iPad when using sidecar just by swiping up.

  3. This has me more excited about Macs than I have been in years, and ten times more interested in iPads than I’ve ever been, and so Apple’s very likely to end up selling me both devices and pulling me back deeper into the ecosystem.

    Good work, Cupertino!

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