Can I use sidecar with iMac and MacBook

Can I use sidecar with iMac and MacBook


Exploring the seamless integration of Apple devices, many users wonder if they can leverage Sidecar to extend their iMac’s display using their MacBook. In this article, we delve into the possibilities and steps to utilize Sidecar for an extended display experience between your iMac and MacBook.

What is Sidecar, and what are its primary functionalities?

Sidecar is a feature introduced by Apple that enhances the productivity and versatility of Mac devices by allowing you to extend or mirror your Mac’s display onto a compatible iPad, turning it into a secondary display. This feature was initially released as part of macOS Catalina (10.15) and is available on Macs with 3rd generation Intel Core processors or later. Additionally, iPads from the 5th generation or later, running iPadOS 13 or newer, can be used as the secondary display. Sidecar leverages a Wi-Fi network and, when connected, seamlessly integrates your iPad with your Mac’s operating system.

The primary functionalities of Sidecar are twofold. First, it provides additional screen space, which is especially useful for multitasking, content creation, and viewing reference materials while working on your primary Mac display. Second, Sidecar offers touch and Apple Pencil input support, effectively turning your iPad into an interactive input device for your Mac. This is particularly handy for tasks like drawing, sketching, annotating documents, or utilizing the Touch Bar controls directly on the iPad’s screen. Sidecar can be configured from the Control Centre on your Mac, allowing you to choose between extended display options or mirroring your Mac’s screen on the iPad, providing flexibility in how you use this feature.

Is it possible for Sidecar be used with both iMac and MacBook?

Sidecar is a feature in macOS that allows you to use an iPad as a secondary display for your Mac. Unfortunately, Sidecar doesn’t directly support using your iMac as an extended display for your MacBook. However, you can use other methods to achieve a similar result:

  1. Screen Sharing: You can use the built-in Screen Sharing feature on macOS to access and control your iMac from your MacBook. This allows you to view and interact with your iMac’s screen remotely. To set this up, go to “System Preferences” on your iMac, open the “Sharing” pane, and enable “Remote Management.” On your MacBook, open the “Finder,” select “Go” in the menu bar, choose “Connect to Server,” and enter your iMac’s IP address or network name.
  2. Third-Party Apps: There are third-party applications like “Duet Display” and “Air Display” that allow you to use your iMac as an extended display for your MacBook. These apps typically require you to install software on both your iMac and MacBook and use a USB or Wi-Fi connection to establish the extended display. Keep in mind that the performance and compatibility of these apps can vary, so it’s essential to check their requirements and reviews before choosing one.
  3. Target Display Mode (Limited Use): While Target Display Mode is not supported between an iMac and MacBook, if you have an older iMac that supports it, you can use Target Display Mode to connect another Mac as the source. This would allow you to use your iMac’s display as an extended screen for the other Mac, but not specifically for your MacBook.

Remember that software and features can change over time with macOS updates, so it’s a good idea to check the latest macOS documentation or Apple’s website for any updates or new features related to using your iMac as an extended display for your MacBook.

What third-party apps can facilitate extending displays between Macs?

Several third-party apps are available to facilitate extending displays between Macs or turning an iPad into a secondary monitor, offering different features and compatibility options. Two notable examples are Luna Display and Duet Display.

  1. Luna Display: Luna Display is a popular app that allows you to extend your Mac’s display to an iPad, Mac, or another secondary monitor. It’s known for its stunning display quality and minimal latency. Luna Display offers both wired and wireless connection options, giving you flexibility in how you use it. With Luna Display, you can choose between extended displays or mirrored displays, depending on your workflow needs. It also offers support for touch input and can even transform your iPad into a secondary touch bar or input device for your Mac. The app integrates seamlessly with macOS, making it an attractive choice for users seeking a versatile secondary screen solution.
  2. Duet Display: Duet Display is another third-party app that allows you to extend your Mac’s display to an iPad. It offers compatibility with both Mac and Windows operating systems, making it a versatile choice for users who work across different platforms. Duet Display offers screen mirroring and extended display options, giving you the flexibility to choose how you use the extra screen space. It’s known for its responsive touch input and low latency, which is essential for tasks like drawing or design work. Duet Display supports both wired and wireless connections, making it a convenient choice for a wide range of users.

These third-party apps provide separate features and options for extending your Mac’s display, and their compatibility varies based on your specific workflow, operating system, and hardware requirements. Depending on your needs, you can explore these and other options to enhance your screen real estate and productivity.