There are some people out there who will do their best to convince you that Apple wants to bring the Mac and iOS together, and while it definitely doesn't, with a handy third you can still get one of the best features the iPad has on your Mac -Party app.
It's called Slidepad, and it brings iPadOS 'slide over feature to the desktop in a way that feels natural and snappy. On an iPad, Slide Over, as the name suggests, lets you slide a small app window over your current app and quickly access when to check your calendar or fire up an email. Now, you can do this on the Mac too, and it might be one of the best Mac apps to download.
The lack of Mac functionality
Slidepad is a $ 10 app available on slidepad.app. Getting started is really easy. After installing the app, simply move your pointer to the right edge of the screen and the slide pad window will appear on your screen. The main part of the window contains a list of your favorite app integrations. When you click a bookmark in the Slidepad, the top bookmark will appear when the Slidepad window is displayed on your screen.
For example, suppose you choose Slack from the list. Now if you swipe your pointer on the edge of the screen, you'll see Slack so you can type a quick message and get back to work. To close the Slidepad window, just click anywhere else on your screen (although a swiping gesture would have been great).
You can return to the slide pad's home screen via one of the built-in apps by clicking the + in the lower left corner. If you then click on another app in the favorites list, it will be added as a tab on the left side of the Slidepad window. That means you can quickly switch between integrations.
There are more integrations out there than just the handful listed in the favorites section. When you're in the main slide pad window, click the + button at the bottom of the favorites list to see a bunch of additional apps, all sorted by category. That gives Slidepad a lot of flexibility to display the app you need when you need it.
While there are many apps that aren't built directly into Slidepad, that doesn't necessarily mean you can't use them. If you have a web app, just go to the search box on the slide pad. For example, I use Avaza as my task management app, but it doesn't have Slidepad integration yet. Don't worry – I can type avaza.com into the search box on the slide pad, click the Avaza tile under the "Found" heading, and it will be added to the sidebar.
By default, the slide pad is displayed on the right edge of the screen. If you want it to come from the left, just drag and drop it there and it will snap into place. You can make the window narrower or shorter (often a necessity for web apps that do not fit well in the slidepad window). If you do the latter, it will align on a corner rather than the center of an edge of the screen. Moving the window is a bit of a hassle – you have to click and drag on the tab column on the left, nowhere else – and that could be improved, but it's still a welcome addition to the app.
Not everything is perfect and I have a few problems with Slidepad. For one, it would be great to be able to use multiple wiping zones. Currently, only one instance of the Slidepad window can be running at a time. But even adding one more would be very important to productivity. You can swipe to the left for one app and to the right for another to get more options for managing your screen area and the apps that are available to you.
While there are many apps to choose from, there are a few noticeable omissions. For example, there are options for Pages and Google Docs, but Microsoft Word stands out for its absence. Other great Mac apps, from Apple News and Messages to Fantastical and GoodTask, aren't available either. Since they don't have web apps, you can't use search to add them either. We hope the Slidepad developer can add more integrations over time.
With that said, Slidepad remains a very useful app on Mac. The main strength lies in quick interactions, e.g. For example, be able to reply to a new message in Slack or check your calendar to see your availability. It's not really optimized for deeper work like creating a presentation in Keynote (although that functionality is there), and there are some issues with how it works. But for $ 10, its clever, time-saving nature deserves a spot on your Mac, and it seems like something Apple should actually have included by default.