Tuesday, June 4, 2019


Apple (MacRumors):

Sidecar lets you extend your workspace by using your iPad as a second Mac display. Work in one app while you reference another or view your artwork on your Mac while you use tools and palettes on your iPad. You can also mirror the screens so they both display the same content, making it perfect for sharing exactly what you see with others.


For apps with Touch Bar support, the controls appear at the bottom of your iPad screen — even if your Mac doesn’t have a Touch Bar.

Jason Snell:

While Luna Display was initially conceived as more or less what Sidecar does—let Mac users see their content on an iPad display and use the Apple Pencil to draw and otherwise interact with Mac content—it has come to be embraced as a tool to let iPad users control a Mac on the local network.

Well, guess what. You can’t initiate a Sidecar session from an iPad—it’s a Mac feature that is initiated from a Mac. Which means that everyone who has extolled the virtues of using Luna Display with a headless Mac mini won’t see that feature replaced by Sidecar.


Update (2019-06-06): Steve Troughton-Smith:

To enable Sidecar on older Macs and devices (sadly, doesn’t work on mine):

Sidecar supports iMac 27" (Late 2015) or newer, MacBook Pro (2016) or newer, mac Mini (2018), Mac Pro (2019), MacBook Air (2018) , MacBook (Early 2016 or newer), and blacklists all the devices in the screenshot

defaults write com.apple.sidecar.display allowAllDevices -bool YES

Matt Ronge:

I wonder if it is using HEVC and that’s why it’s so limited

Dan Blondell:

This makes so much sense. I can’t think of why else my puny MacBook could do it but a Mac Pro couldn’t.

Sam Deane:

Biggest gripe with Sidecar so far: screen locking. It needs a way to sync unlocking the iPad with the Mac.

It’s a massive pain having to unlock both if you’ve stepped out for a minute - you unlock the Mac first and it can’t restore the connection to the iPad.

Update (2019-08-22): John Voorhees:

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.


However, to understand the potential Sidecar unlocks, it’s necessary to first dive into the details of what the new feature enables as well as its limitations.

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