Even if we’re not at the office anymore, we’re getting more screen time than ever. From video conferences to streaming shows and, well, working, we’re leaning on our MacBooks more than ever. This tool for attaching tablets and phones to the side of any laptop makes it easy to maximize your digital workspace.
Sidecar is the new iOS 13/macOS Catalina feature that lets you use an iPad as an extra display for your Mac. But it also lets you send any app off to your iPad. Then you can wander off and use that app on the iPad, pretty much independently, with the Apple Pencil.
This means you can use some high-level Mac music apps, like Logic Pro X and Ableton Live, on the iPad. There are a couple of catches, but it’s easy to use. In fact, Sidecar is so good that using Mac apps on the iPad like this is actually a viable, sensible option. It’s not just a neat trick that you’ll use once and then forget about.
We will never see a touchscreen Mac. Apple has made this clear over and over. Whenever one of its executives is asked about a touchscreen Mac in an interview, the answer is always the same: macOS is for trackpads, and iPadOS for is for touch. Combining them would compromise both.
I agree. While I do catch myself tapping the Mac’s screen from time to time, there’s no way I’d want the Mac redesigned for touch. For one thing, you’d lose all the accuracy of the mouse, because clicking targets would have to be big enough for your fingers. But it doesn’t matter, because Apple has already made a touch option for the Mac. It’s Sidecar, and it’s amazing.
Sidecar, which lets you use an iPad as an external display for your Mac, is an unexpectedly amazing new feature in macOS Catalina. You just move any window to the iPad, and there it is. You can either mouse over to that window with the Mac, just like using any other external display, or you can pick up an Apple Pencil, and use it in the Mac app, directly from the iPad’s screen. And, like any regular external display, you can choose where the iPad’s screen exists.
Today we’re going to see how to move the iPad’s screen from left to right in the Sidecar setup.
There’s a great Steve Jobs story that somehow seems relevant in a 2019 MacBook Pro review. You probably know it, but I’ll tell it anyway. After the iPad launch, Jobs supposedly walked into a meeting with the Mac team, carrying an iPad. He woke up the iPad, which happened instantaneously. Then he woke up a Mac, which took a while to come out of sleep. Then he asked something like, “Why doesn’t this do that?”
Today, he might take the iPad Pro, and the brand new top-of-the-line MacBook Pro, start them both editing a few images, and wait for the fans to spin up on the Mac. While it cranks up to leaf-blower levels, he’d point at the silent iPad, and make some scathing quip.
The new 16-inch MacBook Pro is an incredible computer that’s let down by the red-hot Intel chips inside. Apple’s cool, fast, super-powerful A-series ARM chips can’t come to the Mac soon enough. Using this Intel machine after using an ARM-powered iPad for several years, the Mac feels like there’s something wrong with it. And yet, barely 24 hours into owning one, I absolutely love it.
macOS Catalina enables an iPad to function as a second screen for a Mac, but one of the companies that already offers a solution for this job isn’t throwing in the towel. The founders of Astro HQ promise that their Luna Display and Astropad will offer a superior experience to Apple’s Sidecar, especially for creative professionals.
There’s also a new version of their software out today that offers better image quality on a connected iPad.