I was very confused when I first tested Sidecar mode, which allows you to use the iPad as a secondary Mac screen and is available on MacOS Catalina beta and iPadOS beta. While the mode extended my desktop, the feature didn't seem exactly as expected. But with a little poking around, using both my finger and Apple pencil, I found out how to use Sidecar mode effectively.
Only one head up this tutorial is based on interaction with beta versions of the software, so the performance of Sidecar here may not be as good as you might expect from Apple. At some point during the testing, the iPad had to be restarted to connect to the MacBook Pro that I used for testing.
But if you want to try this feature early, check out Sidecar on your Mac and iPad.
How to use Sidecar to connect to Mac and iPad
After installing MacOS Catalina on a Mac and installing iPadOS on an iPad, it's good to go. These instructions work if the machines are physically sealed, so don't worry about trying to find a USB-C-to-Lightning or USB-C to USB-C cable to connect the two.
First up, click on the iPad logo on the menu bar on your Mac. This logo should appear automatically, but if you don't see it, look instead for the display icon (a rectangle on top of a triangle pointing upwards).
Then select the iPad you want to connect to iPad, and then watch your iPad screen for a different version of the Mac desktop. First, you can test the feature by dragging Windows from Mac to iPad. just move them off on one side of the screen.
Oh, and if you don't like the specific side of the screen that Sidecar places next to the iPad, you can fix it. Open System Preferences click Shows and click Event. Here you see the iPad represented by a smaller screen, which does not have a white menu bar at the top, and you can click and drag this smaller screen to another edge on the main screen. I will do this to make sure the screens almost match how they physically set up on the workstation.
Also make sure both devices are connected to power. I've seen the iPad screen have problems when the Mac goes to sleep; For example, part of the screen may turn dark until you lock and unlock the board.
How to touch Sidecar
My biggest misconception with Sidecar is when to figure out how much of the extended MacOS screen is touch sensitive. Your numbers can only enable line items on the touch bar on the frame of the screen, not the actual macOS interface, such as Windows, the menu bar, or the icons.
These virtual Touch Bar icons include the modifier keys from the keyboard, such as Command, Control, Option, and Shift. My favorite but minimizes and opens the dock, which you don't always need on the iPad.
Yes, it's an incredibly frustrating limitation, but I can see the reason for it. The MacOS interface is intended for interactions with a marker, not your (much larger) fingertip.
This is where Apple's Pencil Stylus accessory ($ 99 to $ 129) becomes incredibly important. . The pencil is the only way to click and drag and otherwise interact with macOS elements when on the iPad.
Of course, the pencil voltage can also act as an accessory when drawing. You can check this out in the Notes app when you press the Picture button and select Add sketches; The iPad screen will get all the annotation tools now going to be standard in iPadOS.
Distributors should love this too, as Apple says Sidecar's pencil support will work in Illustrator, Affinity Photo and ZBrush.
] Are you disappointed with Sidecar's limitations? Duet Display and Luna Display allow you to actually touch the macOS interface and not limit yourself to the pencil charge.
On the downside, they both cost extra ($ 69.99 for Luna Display, $ 9.99 for Duet Display). I will also bet that the final version of Sidecar will be as smooth as or even more responsive than these options.