Working from home on your Macbook and have an iPAD handy? Sidecar with iPAD is brilliant!

Like most people in Toronto, this is week 3 working from home. My home office isn’t amazing by any means. My work-from-home chair is NOT not my office chair and was designed for the dining room. I just don’t have room in my home office (aka my bedroom) for the luxury my butt and legs crave but maybe that’s better. I have to stand and walk around more often. One of the luxuries of the office is using 2 screens so you can multitask. After a little research and some system updates, I was able to setup Sidecar with my iPAD for my 2nd screen! My home now feels a little smarter.

macbook sidecar with ipad

I was tempted to go to the office and grab my dual 24″ screens so I could do my work like I usually do but again, I just don’t have the room and I’ve had to work more hours on just my laptop until I remembered I have an old iPAD pro (2 years old I think so technically NOT that old). I really needed that 2nd screen so I could do online video chats and keep my real work on my main screen! Working with dual screens is something I’ve been doing for over 15 years…or longer.

Interesting tidbit…I was on the phone with our Samsung Commercial Rep and although Smart TV sales are down significantly, the last 2 weeks have seen a massive spike in sales for printers and computer screens. The COVID-19 era has created demand for work from home essentials.

I remember hearing about something called Sidecar from Apple but I really had no idea what it was for. I was tempted to setup a TV in the corner to airplay my screen to but that wouldn’t be practical either. Again, very little room. So I googled “macbook ipad sidecar” and to my delight, my old macbook (from 2016) and my “old” iPAD (from 2015) were compatible!

What i did to setup my Macbook Sidecar with my iPAD as a 2nd Display

Step 1 – Figure out if your hardware is compatible

google search apple ipad sidecar
Search for “Macbook iPAD sidecar” (click image to take you to the article)

The system requirements are important before you waste your time. Read through the article but here’s a quick way to find what you need:

Your Macbook – click the Apple Menu (top left) and select “About This Mac”

about this mac
About this mac

My macbook was introduced in 2016. It is the oldest supported device.

about my ipad
about iPAD

There isn’t as easy of a way (someone correct me if I’m wrong) to find out the year your iPAD was made. Apple does have some references but I knew that I had purchased the 1st generation iPAD pro when it was released so I quickly searched for that…wikipedia to the rescue. Again my iPAD pro was compatible.

sidecar system requirements
Sidecar system requirements

Step 2 – Do your updates

So I was happy to find I met all the requirements including Sidecar working wirelessly. I was thinking I would have to plug in my iPAD using the USB cable and my Macbook has USB-C connections. I do have an adapter but I’m generally using that for my USB microphone so that was a plus. I wouldn’t have to run to the office and get a USB hub and clutter my desk more.

Next step for me was to do all the updates to make sure both OS versions were working. I did try before with my iPAD on OS 12.x and it didn’t work. So doing the update on the iPAD took about an hour…I think.

Step 3 – Use Sidecar much like Airplay

The systems are now up to date and I can see that my iPAD Pro now shows up as an Airplay Device.

Now I have a fully functional 2nd screen for my Macbook.

It isn’t as good as my office setup but these are the little victories of 2020 and corona visus. Now the 2nd screen wouldn’t be very useful if I didn’t have the amazing Araknis Network WiFi setup like we offer our clients. I posted this recent update on LinkedIN about Home WiFi:

If you would like help with your smarthome systems, Cloud 9 AV specializes in audio video solutions but we can also help you with your computing and network setups. Find us online through our website, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp or what ever tools you like to use.

We can also help you through Zoom and Google Meet if you are visually inclined or need us to see what is going on.

Please post your work-from-home setups. I would love to see them. (Dominic)

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