Apple's Sidecar Has Just Been Limited To Newer Macs

Anil - Oct 09, 2019

Apple's Sidecar Has Just Been Limited To Newer Macs

You need to have Mac laptops or desktops powered by sixth-generation Skylake processors or higher from Intel.

Apple has released an important updated macOS for the desktop operating system, called Catalina. In which, Catalina’s Sidecar proved to be an interesting feature for Mac users. The feature allows dual displays through a new iPad and your Mac. It has been introduced to macOS via numerous third-party applications in the past few years. But it was only until Apple officially integrated Sidecar into macOS that Mac users became extremely excited about the function. However, a disadvantage of Sidecar is that it requires an entirely new iPad or Mac to be fully operated. 

Apple Sidecar Opener

As reported by The Verge, the feature only operates in Mac laptops or desktops including sixth-generation processors or later from Intel Skylake. For Apple laptops, any models with Skylake processors all have confusing butterfly keyboards. In particular, Sidecar can only work with MacBook 2016 or later, MacBook Air 2018 or later and MacBook Pro 2016 or later. This means that any MacBooks without butterfly keyboards will not have the Sidebar function.

Also for laptops, the feature capacity is not diverse. It will only apply on Mac Mini 2018, iMac 2015 or later, iMac Pro, etc. Not to mention, it will require a fairly new iPad when you use. Apple also mentioned that the assistance of Apple Pencil and Operating System 13 in an iPad will be needed in order to use Sidecar. Another weakness of Sidecar is that only two integrated devices with the same exact Apple ID will be authenticated. This means that other Apple devices that are not tied to the same Apple account cannot be used. 

Dims 1

Another assumption explaining the limitation of Sidecar is the fact that it relies on HEVC - High-efficiency video codec. Accordingly, Intel has added built-ins for the codec to the CPUs, starting from Skylake versions. Compared to other Macs having stronger Broadwell equipment, this feature seems a disappointment to the users.

However, Mac users can now find other alternatives from third-party sources, for example, Duet Display, which can work with more iPads or Macs, as well as with Windows PCs.


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