macOS Catalina's 'Sidecar' Feature for Turning the iPad Into a Second Display Limited to Newer Macs

Apple in macOS Catalina introduced a new feature called Sidecar, which is designed to turn an iPad into a second display for a Mac, either extending what's on the screen or mirroring the content.

Apple hasn't yet provided details on which devices will work with ‌Sidecar‌, but developer Steve Troughton-Smith was able to find some details by digging into ‌macOS Catalina‌'s code.


As it turns out, ‌Sidecar‌ is limited to many of Apple's newer Macs, and the devices listed below will be able to use it.

It's not clear if this is a complete list, but Troughton-Smith says a long list of older machines are blacklisted from taking advantage of the feature. Some older Macs that are not greenlit for ‌Sidecar‌ can still use the feature via the Terminal command provided by Troughton-Smith, but there's no complete list on exactly which older Macs the Terminal command works with.


There's no word on whether all iPads will work with ‌Sidecar‌, or if there will be limitations on that end as well. iPadOS, required for ‌Sidecar‌, runs on The ‌iPad‌ Air 2 and later, the ‌iPad‌ mini 4 and later, the 5th-generation ‌iPad‌ and later, and all iPad Pro models.

The oldest of these iPads, the ‌iPad‌ mini 4 and the ‌iPad‌ Air 2, use A8 and A8X chips respectively, while the newer models all use more powerful chips.

Update: According to a MacRumors reader who has used the feature, ‌Sidecar‌ works well with the ‌iPad‌ Air 2, which means it should also work with all other iPads that are compatible with iOS 13.

Related Roundup: macOS Catalina

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
13 months ago
Are there any hardware limitations for this, or are Apple just taking the piss?

The Mac Pro that you can go into the stores and buy right now isn't supported!
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
13 months ago
Disappointing, very disappointing. My mid 2015 15 inch MB Pro is out, then. Don't tell me an i7 and a dedicated Radeon graphics card can't handle Sidecar...
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
13 months ago
Typical Apple move.

It's not about performance.
If a 2018 MacBook Air can do it, how can any retina MacBook Pro not be about to do it performance wise??
Not to mention 2013 Mac Pro
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
13 months ago

Typical Apple move.

It's not about performance.
If a 2018 MacBook Air can do it, how can any retina MacBook Pro not be about to do it performance wise??
Not to mention 2013 Mac Pro

It apparently uses hardware HEVC support for the best picture. Which I think only started with Skylake CPUs.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
13 months ago
how typical
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
13 months ago

I’d wager it involves the T2 chip somehow

I'll take that wager (and your money), since iMacs don't have a T2 chip nor do pre-2018 MBPs.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple's First MacBook Pro With a Retina Display Will Become 'Obsolete' in 30 Days

Monday June 1, 2020 7:50 am PDT by
If you are still hanging on to a Mid 2012 model of the 15-inch MacBook Pro with a Retina display, and require a new battery or other repairs, be sure to book an appointment with a service provider as soon as possible. In an internal memo today, obtained by MacRumors, Apple has indicated that this particular MacBook Pro model will be marked as "obsolete" worldwide on June 30, 2020, just over...

Tim Cook Addresses George Floyd's Death and Ensuing Protests and Riots as Apple Temporarily Closes Some U.S. Stores

Sunday May 31, 2020 8:04 pm PDT by
Amid unrest in numerous U.S. cities following last week's killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis, Apple CEO Tim Cook has shared an internal memo with employees (via Bloomberg) addressing the pain that many are feeling and urging others to commit "to creating a better, more just world for everyone." Cook also announced that Apple is making donations to several groups challenging...

Apple Releases macOS Catalina 10.15.5 Supplemental Update With Security Fix

Monday June 1, 2020 10:56 am PDT by
Apple today released a supplemental update for macOS Catalina 10.15.5, the fifth update to the macOS Catalina operating system that was released in October 2019. The supplemental update comes a week after the release of the macOS Catalina 10.15.5 update. ‌macOS Catalina‌ 10.15.5 is a free update that can be downloaded from the Mac App Store using the Update feature in the System...

iOS 14 Again Said to Be Compatible With All iPhones Able to Run iOS 13

Monday June 1, 2020 2:08 pm PDT by
iOS 14 will be compatible with all iPhones and iPod touch models able to run iOS 13, according to information shared today by Israeli site The Verifier. The compatibility data was allegedly found in a leaked version of iOS 14 and confirmed by what The Verifier says is a "trusted source from the system development process." iOS 13 is compatible with the iPhone 6s and later, with a full...

Apple Releases iOS and iPadOS 13.5.1 With Fixes for Recent 'unc0ver' Jailbreak Vulnerability

Monday June 1, 2020 9:58 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS and iPadOS 13.5.1, minor updates that come a little over a week after the release of iOS and iPadOS 13.5, major updates that brought the Exposure Notification API, FaceTime changes, mask-related unlocking updates and more. The iOS and iPadOS 13.5.1 updates are available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the updates, go to Settings >...

Mockups Depict iPhone 12 Lineup Sizes, Relocated SIM Tray

Monday June 1, 2020 1:22 pm PDT by
A series of 3D printed iPhone 12 mockups designed based on leaked schematics and info from Apple's supply chain was today shared by Japanese site Mac Otakara, giving us a first look at what we can expect from the 2020 iPhone lineup. Rumors have suggested Apple will release four iPhone 12 models in 2020: A 5.4-inch iPhone 12, a 6.1-inch iPhone 12, a 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Pro, and a 6.7-inch...

Five Mac Apps Worth Checking Out - June 2020

Tuesday June 2, 2020 2:25 pm PDT by
Apps developed for the Mac often don't receive as much coverage as apps designed for iPhones and iPads, so we have a series at MacRumors that highlights interesting Mac apps that are worth taking a look at. This month's apps are designed to make working from home a little bit easier. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Meeter (Free) - Working from home often...

Apple Music Joins Music Industry's Blackout Tuesday Awareness Campaign

Tuesday June 2, 2020 1:31 am PDT by
Apple Music has cancelled its Beats 1 radio schedule for Blackout Tuesday and is suggesting that listeners tune in to a radio stream celebrating the best in black music. Blackout Tuesday is a campaign organized by the music industry to support Black Lives Matter after Minneapolis citizen George Floyd was killed by police in the course of his arrest. On launching Apple Music, many users...

6.1-inch 'iPhone 12' Production to Begin in July Ahead of Other 2020 Models

Monday June 1, 2020 2:36 am PDT by
Volume production of Apple's forthcoming 6.1-inch "iPhone 12" models will start in July-August ahead of the rest of the company's flagship iPhone lineup this year, according to a new report by DigiTimes. Apple is widely rumored to be launching four new ‌iPhone‌ models in the usual September or October timeframe, although supply constraints and delays in production ramp-up could cause a...

Apple Releases tvOS 13.4.6 for Fourth and Fifth-Generation Apple TV Models

Monday June 1, 2020 9:56 am PDT by
Apple today released tvOS 13.4.6, a minor update to the tvOS operating system that runs on the fourth and fifth-generation Apple TV models. tvOS 13.4.6 comes a little over a week after the release of tvOS 13.4.5. tvOS 13.4.6, a free update, can be downloaded over the air through the Settings app on the Apple TV by going to System > Software Update. Apple TV owners who have automatic software ...