One of the most exciting features of MacOS Catalina is the new feature to support the second screen, Sidecar. The new technology turns your iPad into a second screen for your Mac, as well as a drawing tablet for illustrators and designers. To get the most out of Sidecar, you need to know how to set it up and what is required for it to function properly.

Here is everything you need to get Sidecar up and running in macOS Catalina, plus some simple instructions on how to set it up.

1. Check your hardware

Apple Newsroom / Apple Inc.

Sidecar only works on the newer models of iPads and MacBooks. According to the same whitepaper Apple published on Sidecar, Catalina's second screen support feature requires a processor requirement for Macs: you need a Mac with a Skylake processor or higher.

The white paper also includes a list of supported Mac models that Sidecar can run on. These include: 2016 MacBooks or higher, 2018 MacBook Airs or higher, 2016 MacBook Pros or higher, 2018 Mac Minis or higher, 2015 iMacs or higher, 2017 iMac Pros or later, and 2019 Mac Pros or higher. It should be noted that this is a different system requirement than Catalina itself.

In addition, Sidecar can only be used on iPads that support Apple Pencil. The whitepaper also listed the individual iPad models on which Sidecar can run: iPads of the sixth generation or higher, iPad minis of the fifth generation, iPad Airs of the third generation and iPad Pros (9.7 inch, 10, 5-inch, 11-inch, and 12.9-inch models).

2. Upgrade to iPadOS and macOS Catalina

MacOS Catalina at your fingertips | Macbook ProDan Baker / Digital Trends

Next comes software. Of course, you'll need to upgrade your Mac to Catalina first. Start by backing up your Mac, then make sure you have at least 12.5 GB of space (or at least 18.5 GB of space for Macs currently running OS X Yosemite or earlier). Once you've done all of this, you're ready to download Catalina.

Also, if you want to use certain sidecar-related features like Continuity Sketch and Markup, you need to make sure that all of your devices (in which you plan to use these features) have the correct operating systems. According to Apple's Sidecar whitepaper, you'll need a Mac with Catalina, an iPad with iPadOS, or an iPhone with at least iOS 13 if you want to use Continuity Sketch or Markup.

3. Sign in to your devices with the same Apple ID

Also, if you're using Sidecar, you'll need to make sure that the devices you're pairing (Mac and iPad) have the same Apple ID account assigned to them.

You cannot use Sidecar with devices that have different Apple IDs.

4. Establish the connection

Once signed in, you can connect to Sidecar from the AirPlay menu on your Mac. Once you've selected the AirPlay menu, select your iPad from that menu. From there, your AirPlay icon should now appear as an iPad icon. Click this icon to view your sidecar options.

You can use the sidecar function by connecting your devices either wirelessly or via a wired connection. However, there are still two points to keep in mind. When it comes to wireless connections, the important thing to note is that you can only use your iPad wirelessly up to 10 meters from your Mac. According to Apple's whitepaper, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and handoff must be activated on both devices.

For wired connections, the type of cable you need depends largely on which iPad model you are using. However, you will need either a lightning or a USB-C cable.

5. Start sidecaring!

After you've connected to your iPad with Sidecar, you can drag and drop your Mac's app windows onto it. You can also use the menu option to do this. To do this, however, you have to hover your mouse over the green button in the app window. When you do, a menu will open and you can select "Move to iPad".

Mainly, Apple said This sidecar support "is included at the system level for all apps." This support should include both general navigation and drawing with Apple Pencil.

In a press release dated October 7, 2019Apple went on to say that for those who want to use "an iPad display for tablet input to draw, sketch, or write with Apple Pencil," they can do so through "any third-party Apple or Mac app that supports pens needs input. ”It's also worth noting that Mac apps that already have tablet drawing support can also run Sidecar.

There are a few apps already listed as compatible with Sidecar, including Adobe Illustrator, Affinity Photo, Cinema 4D, Maya, and ZBrush. They are all on display Apple's main website for Catalina.

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