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Here’s how Sidecar will extend your Mac’s display with iPad and which apps are compatible

Today Apple previewed macOS Catalina and iPadOS, both of which include a new feature called Sidecar. Using an iPad and a Mac, Sidecar allows you to create an extended workspace by turning your iPad into a second, fully interactive display. Both displays can show different content or mirror each other. Apple has provided more detail on the functionality and an initial list of apps that will work seamlessly with Sidecar when it is released to everyone this fall.

Sidecar has a collection of core features designed for increased productivity and creativity when working with multiple devices. Tools and palettes can be manipulated on an iPad while images are referenced on a Mac. An Apple Pencil can be used for drawing and sketching. Apple lists some of the key uses for Sidecar on the preview website for macOS Catalina:

Extended desktop: Use your iPad as a second display for additional screen space. Refer to one app while you work in another, or see how a presentation looks in presentation mode on your iPad while editing it on your Mac.

Mirrored desktop: Mirror the screen on your Mac to have two screens displaying the same content, making it perfect for sharing with others.

Draw and sketch in apps: Use the precision and intuitiveness of Apple Pencil with your favorite creative Mac apps. Draw and write naturally, edit a photo or graphic, and use it to point and click as you do with a mouse.

Sidecar can be used wired or wirelessly within 10 meters of your Mac, and supports the iPad’s normal array of multi-touch gestures and new additions introduced with iPadOS. It also includes Continuity support for Markup and sketching:

Continuity Markup: Write and sketch on PDFs or mark up your documents with Apple Pencil. See the updates live on your Mac as you mark them up on your iPad.

Continuity Sketch: Create a sketch on your iPad using Apple Pencil and easily insert it into any document on your Mac.

One of the most novel features in Sidecar is a software sidebar that will appear on your iPad for common macOS shortcuts and popular tools. Apps that use the MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar will also be supported:

Sidebar: Get easy access to your most commonly used controls from the sidebar. Use modifier keys to enable shortcuts in pro apps, and access buttons that allow you to undo as well as display or hide the menu bar, Dock, and keyboard.

While the main features of Sidecar will work out of the box on day one, developers can add special support for Sidecar that enables the full feature set, like pressure sensitivity and tilt support for Apple Pencil. Apple says the following apps have confirmed support for Sidecar:

Adobe: After Effects, Illustrator, Premiere Pro

Affinity Designer & Affinity Photo

Cinema 4D


DaVinci Resolve

Final Cut Pro & Motion





Substance Designer & Painter


You can learn more about Sidecar on Apple’s website, and check out our News Hub for everything announced at WWDC 2019.

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Avatar for Michael Steeber Michael Steeber

I’m a Creative Editor passionate about Apple Retail and design. My stories highlight the work of talented artists, designers, and customers through a unique lens of architecture, creativity, and community.

Twitter: @MichaelSteeber