Apple’s strategy of giving Apple Pencil support to the entire iPad product line is going to give Macs a new capability. Dubbed ‘Sidecar’, the new feature will require both iOS 13 and macOS 10.15 which will be announced in early June during the Worldwide Developer Conference.
Sidecar will allow an iPad to be used as an external display with any Mac. For travellers who miss their dual-screen office set up, being able to extend your desktop to an iPad is really handy. But Sidecar will also allow you to use the iPad as an input tool.
For artists, designers and other creative folk, you’ll be able to draw on the iPad display using an Apple Pencil and have that work with apps that can take advantage of the new feature.
I’m a big fan of using Pixelmator on my iPad and Mac. Being able to use the Apple Pencil on my iPad while working on my larger external display on the Mac will be a huge boon for me.
9to5Mac, who cite an internal source close to the development of the new feature, says the new feature will be accessible by hovering over the maximise button.
The new feature follows a long tradition of operating system makers seeing utilities develop alongside their software and ether acquiring them or offering similar features. In the case of Sidecar, the likely inspiration is Luna Display. But that’s a hardware solution requiring a special dongle.
Apple’s solution will likely depend on the wireless chipsets in the last Macs and iOS devices that support tools like AirDrop – Apple’s point-to-point networking protocol. Sidecar will be like AirDrop for your display.
Sidecar also reflects Apple’s relentless integration of their four operating systems. Between AirPods that are available on all your Apple devices once you connect them to one device, the Apple Watch being strongly tied to the iPhone and now Sidecar, Apple continues to draw and lock in customers through tighter and tighter integration.