One of the coolest news from macOS Catalina 10.15 answer for Sidecar, a new feature that allows the user to use an iPad as a second screen of the Mac without any extra apps or accessories, or for owners of Apple Pencil-enabled iPads to use the duo as an instant tablet for their computer. .
In this article, we'll talk a little more about the tool, unraveling its functionality, sharing some useful details, and listing which devices and apps are compatible. Let's go?
How it works
When used wirelessly, Sidecar uses the same protocols used by AirDrop, with the exception of Bluetooth. That is, to use the feature it is necessary that both devices (Mac and iPad) have Wi-Fi turned on, but not necessarily that they are connected to a network because communication between the devices is done through a particular network created. for them, not for their domestic connection. It is good to note that the Sidecar Wireless works within 10 meters between the computer and the tablet.
As stated, you can also use Sidecar on a wired connection, which is especially simple if you have a recent MacBook (Pro, Air) and a state-of-the-art iPad Pro, just take any USB-C cable you have to enjoy. resource. It is not known if wired connection has any benefit in terms of stability and latency which we know even the extremely fluid and responsive wireless Sidecar, as we will see below.
How to activate
From the information from journalists and developers who have already tweaked the first beta versions of macOS Catalina and iPadOS 13, the Sidecar settings will be accessed in the same window where the AirPlay settings on the Mac are today.
Developer Roy Akash posted on Twitter a preview of how the connection can be easily activated once set up:
All very simple, directly from the menu bar.
Ways of use
Apple lists three ways to enjoy Sidecar:
- Screen Length: iPad acts as a second monitor for the Mac, and can open different windows than those currently displayed on the main monitor.
- Screen mirroring: The iPad shows exactly what is happening on the Mac main screen especially useful for anyone who wants to show a content to others.
- Graphics Tablet: iPad acts well, like a graphics tablet. This mode only works with tablets that support Apple Pencil (first or second generation) and can be used in both extending and mirroring the front screen, we'll talk more about compatible apps.
Ma also highlighted two specific features linked to Sidecar: the Continuity Markup (type and scribble in PDFs on iPad while changes are coming up in real time on Mac) and Continuity Sketch (Make drafts and doodles on the iPad and immediately insert them into any document on the Mac.)
Sidecar always has a sidebar which features some of the most commonly used keys by Mac users, such as (Command), (Control), (Option) and (Shift); There is also a key that activates a full virtual keyboard, of course. Oh, and good news for MacBook Pro owners with Touch Bar: The bar is also displayed on the Sidecar screen, so you can enjoy the full potential of your machine on the iPad.
So far, Apple has not specified whether Sidecar will be limited to specific models of Macs and iPads; at the second order, therefore, imagine that you just have to have a computer running macOS Catalina and a tablet running iPadOS 13 (check the compatibility list here) to enjoy the feature. It is healthy to wait for more information, however.
What we already know is that by the time Sidecar makes its official premiere at prime time, several MacOS apps will already be properly updated to enjoy the extra benefits of the feature like illustration apps that will take advantage of the Apple Pencil's tilt and pressure detector.
The optimized apps are as follows:
- Adobe After Effects, Illustrator and Premiere Pro
- Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo
- 4D cinema
- DaVinci Resolve
- Final cut pro and Motion
- Substance Designer and Substance Painter
Presumably, this list expands by September no developer will want to be left out of the party after all.
And the competition?
You may have realized that Sidecar, as Apple has done so many other times, directly attacks a segment of apps and accessories for Macs and iPads. Astro HQ, for example, has developed similar solutions for the Ma ecosystem for years, such as Astropad Studio and Luna Display. We also have old field war apps like Duet Display and AirDisplay.
Undeniably, it will be difficult for these products to stay the way they are today, as it is almost impossible after all to match Sidecar for ease of use and integration with systems. If developers want to persevere in this market, we have to think of ways to differentiate their options and make them even more attractive.
Even Wacom's line of interactive displays, Cintiq, may be threatened with the novelty, though not so much, since part of the audience for this product uses Windows and the darling manufacturer of users advanced by its extra features and professionals.
The impact of Sidecar, however, is only time reveal. What do you guys think?
Update 06/06/2019 s 11:30
Today, two important new information has emerged about Sidecar, one good and one bad, so to speak.
The good news is that even Macs without Touch bar I'll have a virtual version of the bar on the iPad. Yes: Regardless of the Mac, Sidecar “spawns” a Touch Bar on the tablet screen just like the more expensive MacBooks Pro. In fact, you can use iPad just as a way to add the bar to your Mac by simply ignoring the mirroring or extension of the screen happening up there.
The bad news is, as expected, feature support at the be included on all Macs running macOS Catalina. Taking the insides of the tool, developer Steve Thoughton-Smith has found that at least in this first beta release Sidecar will be compatible with the following Macs:
- 27 inch iMac (end of 2015 or later)
- iMac Pro
- MacBook Pro (2016 or later)
- MacBook Air (2018)
- 12-inch MacBook (early 2016 or later)
- Mac mini (2018)
- Mac Pro (2019)
Yes, a strangely short list causes the oddity that the 27-inch iMac is included among the supported machines, while its 21.5 ″ sibling is left out, as is the absence of the 2013 Mac Pro (which despite still a very powerful machine). According to Troughton-Smith, however, this limitation can be "resolved" with a small command in Terminal:
defaults write com.apple.sidecar.display allowAllDevices -bool YES
Running this command, it seems, will all Macs running macOS Catalina support Sidecar. Again, all of this may change in the next few betas of the system and its final version, but we already have a good clue here of what lies ahead.