In the last couple of years, Apple has developed so many features that let you use all your Apple devices together. So, let's say you have a Mac and an iPad. You can actually use the iPad as a secondary device with so much ease. There is also this Universal Control which is a feature that lets you move from one device to another using the same mouse and keyboard.
Use iPad as a Second Screen
The feature that lets you use the iPad as an extended screen is called SideCar. The name is not very common like AirDrop but it works just as fine every single time. With Sidecar, you can both extend and also mirror your Mac computer.
Before we jump into using Sidecar, let's go through the basic requirements for using this feature.
- First you need to connect both the iPad and the Mac to the same iCloud account obviously.
- Now, you can use Sidecar both wired and wirelessly. You need an USB cable that came with the iPad which you can connect to the Mac.
- If you are thinking of using it wirelessly, then both the devices should be within 10 meters apart and requires Wifi, Bluetooth and Handoff enabled in the Settings app on both devices.
Let's see the mac devices that support this sidecar feature.
- MacBook Pro (2016 or later)
- MacBook (2016 or later)
- MacBook Air (2018 or later)
- iMac (2017 or later)
- iMac Pro
- Mac Mini (2018 or later)
- Mac Pro
When it comes to the iPad side, these are the devices that support Sidecar.
- iPad Pro (all models)
- iPad (6th Generation or later)
- iPad Mini (5th Generation or later)
- iPad Air (3rd Generation or later)
Now, that we know which devices, let's see how we can use the Sidecar feature.
How to use Sidecar
There are two ways to connect your Mac to your iPad as an extended display.
- Tap on the Control Center icon at the top right corner of the screen in your iPad. In the Control center click on Display section as seen below.
- In the Display section you will see the name of the iPad if you have the iPad near the Mac and alive. In my case, you can see Joseph's iPad in the screenshot below. All you have to do is click on the device and the iPad becomes an extended devices with no windows open.
This is the first way. Let's see the other way where we directly extend from the window instead of through the device.
- In the second way, let's say you want to move Things app to the iPad as an extended display. Open the Things app in the Macbook. In the app window, hover over the green button at the top left corner of the window you want to move to the iPad. As soon as you hover, you will see this list of option and if you have the iPad nearby will show option "Move to Joseph's iPad"
- Click on that option and the Things app will be available on the iPad as you can see below. Also, you will have a sidebar will options as you can see.
These are the two ways you can use Sidecar in your Mac. Now, let's talk about some of the options in the Sidebar menu.
Now, let's see you don't have an external keyboard on the iPad. So, if you want to type something you need a keyboard. You can tap on the Keyboard option and the keyboard will show up. You can tap on it and it will disappear. You can open it as you need.
If you want to disconnect the iPad from the mac, tap on the icon below the keyboard icon, and in the popup that appears, tap on Disconnect, and your iPad stops being a display for your Mac and resumes being a normal iPad like always.
Now, when you use the iPad as an extended display, you need controls like Shift, Command, etc., you can use the keyboard of the mac to use, or else you can use the touch controls of the sidebar in the iPad.
If you want to see the mac Dock on your iPad, you can tap on this icon at the top left corner as pointed in the image below.
Once you choose that the Dock will disappear from the mac and will show on the iPad. You will also have the top bar from the mac shown on the iPad as well.
Please remember that no functionality that is related to the iPad will work when you use the iPad as a secondary display. Actually, your iPad will go offline when it's being used like this.
Using Mouse & Apple Pencil in extended display
You can use the mouse in the mac directly on the iPad. All you have to do is to move the cursor to the right side of the screen in mac and it will slide into the iPad like how you would use in an extended display of monitors. You can move back between mac and iPad seamlessly without any glitch.
Now, let's talk about Apple Pencil. When you use Apple Pencil in the extended display, it behaves like a mouse. When you tap on an option using Apple Pencil, it behaves as if it's a click from the mouse. So, it is easy to use Apple Pencil. Same thing for the touch screens as well. A tap on the screen will behave as a click.
- Open System Preferences from the Apple Menu.
- In the Preferences window, choose Sidecar.
- In the SideCar section, if you have connect an iPad you will see options like this.
You can choose where to show the SideBar (right or left) and Touch Bar (top or bottom) in the iPad right here.
Also, if you want to enable double tap using Apple Pencil, you can enable that option as well.
In Addition to that, you can disconnect the iPad as well here as pointed out in the screenshot above.
I personally use this feature a lot because it definitely enhances my desk setup and I would never say that it's a necessity but it definitely adds some color to the production setup.