Enjoy your new second screen

Apple Sidecar Turns Your iPad Into a Mac Monitor

June 6, 2019 Tech By

Chances are pretty good you have an old iPad lying around. Maybe you’ve even tried to come up with a way to put it to use beyond just streaming movies. With a new feature of macOS Catalina that Apple announced at this year’s WWDC, you’ll have another option — using it as a second screen for your Mac.

This new capability is called SideCar and uses an iPad as a screen that takes instruction from your Mac and acts as a second monitor, similar to third party apps that already exist like Duet Display. You can use your new screen either to simply extend your desktop, but a handful of apps have more functionality. If your Sidecar-ing iPad is an iPad Pro, and you have an Apple Pencil, you can use the setup like you would a digitizer tablet for a handful of compatible apps.

• Adobe Illustrator
• Affinity Designer
• Affinity Photo
• Cinema 4D
• CorelDRAW
• DaVinci Resolve
• Final Cut Pro
• Maya
• Motion
• Painter
• Principle
• Sketch
• Substance Designer
• Substance Painter
• ZBrush

Apple says you’ll be able to kit out a Mac with both a traditional second monitor and an iPad at the same time and you can connect your iPad to your Mac either by wire or completely wirelessly.

To make this magic work, you’ll first need a Mac running macOS Catalina, which will be coming out this fall. You’ll also need an iPad that can run the new iPadOS 13. That includes the iPad Mini 4, the iPad 5th gen, the iPad Air 2, and all the iPad Pros, but none of the older tablets in those lines. So you’ll still need to do some thinking if you want to find a way to put that iPad 3rd gen to good use.

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