Apple Sidecar Review: Can it Replace Your Drawing Tablet?


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Sidecar is a new features in MacOS Catalina. It turns your iPad into a second screen. As a screen it’s great. As a drawing tablet I was disappointed, it doesn’t seem like the input from the Apple pencil makes it to the Mac fast enough.
What Macs does Sidecar work with?






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39 replies
  1. John Fernandez
    John Fernandez says:

    I wanted to do notetaking on it with onenote (drawing when theres equations and typing when its plain text). Unfortunately the drawing is extremely glitchy and is unusable for such a purpose

  2. V4D2
    V4D2 says:

    i had been waiting for this video, since they announced Catalina. I wanted to know if i should be ordering a new Mac, or my old macbook pro won’t update to Catalina.
    so thanks Brad. 😉

  3. Kyle A
    Kyle A says:

    Sidecar runs exclusively on wifi. If you trying putting one of your devices in airplane mode, you'll find your Mac tells you the iPad has to be on the network for it to work.

  4. Neto Mentor
    Neto Mentor says:

    First I must say that I’ll love to have the features you said doesn’t work. But in my view, the whole idea of the review is wrong. Sidecard is not supposed to replace a wacom tablet. Apple never said that. The idea is to have more screen space. I know it’s kind of a stupid decision, since intuitively we expected a “touchscreen” monitor. That’s not the case. I’m using Sidecard only to have message apps and stuff that I don’t need on my main screen.

  5. Tanner Quie
    Tanner Quie says:

    I happened to use it today and was happily surprised with how well it worked. My use case was more utilitarian though. I did a group sketching ideation season in Miro and it was great to bring my browser window over to my iPad and draw with my Apple Pencil rather than drawing with my finger on the mouse. The quality and smoothness was a bit rough but I would imagine that was due more so to working in the browser.

  6. Anthony Nguyen
    Anthony Nguyen says:

    I experienced every single "issue" you had with catalina, sidecar, and photoshop as well. Waiting for the next iteration of sidecar, until then, i'll stick to the luna display with astropad.

  7. waNekowe
    waNekowe says:

    wow your video just came in time
    I was thinking of buying either iPad pro or Wacom Cintiq Pro, & was searching if iPad pro could replace a Wacom tablet
    of course, didn't find much results in that subject

    Thanks for making this video ob

    FISKKI says:

    I have a feeling most of the tapering issues are on the software side of things and can be fixed.
    i had that dot issue real bad in clip studio paint, but they released a catalina patch and now it runs extremely smooth – my main quarrels now are the lack of apple pencil-specific settings (so i don't have to change my pressure settings back and forth when moving between sidecar and wacom) and the fact that it sometimes downright freezes if not connected to my mbp, which sucks because it doesn't charge from it lol

  9. G Flores
    G Flores says:

    I like reading my lecture notes on my iMac so I connected sidecar hoping I could drag and annotate my notes then stick it back to the screen. It didn’t work 😔

  10. graffickattackDOTcom
    graffickattackDOTcom says:

    Have you tested the newest of the iPad Pro with side car? It maybe a hardware issue, most ideal testing solutions is to go to an Apple store and test run the side car on their newest hardware for comparison to your own review.

  11. Simon
    Simon says:

    I don't think Sidecar is a tool for people who do exclusively digital art, since Procreate is a thing and Adobe said it's releasing a Photoshop version for the iPad in case Procreate is not enough. Where i see the potential is in terms of Illustrator (i have Affinity Designer but the vector toolset isn't enough for all work i do, especially if i need to export for After Effects), handdrawn animation in general (harmony, adobe animate, even Blender's grease pencil) and perhaps most importantly, aside from those features that aren't too game changing, it still behaves like a second display.

    I think using the words "reviews for professional artists" is an extremely dangerous thing to say, since artists range from C4D to ToonBoom Harmony, not just drawing apps. You could perhaps consider broadening your range of testing software or finding another fancy intro 👀, but that's not really all that important. I guess most people get it.

    I don't think my opinion is very relevant here – i don't have an iPad. I was considering it because of Procreate already, and I think that just the thought of being able to use it for Ae or Ai panels is enough for me to buy one now. But i feel like nevertheless the iPad is not made to replace an ultra expensive Wacom for artists that just need photoshop (for until Adobe releases the fully featured photoshop to there). It makes an industry of its own, and this isn't supposed to be MacOS on the iPad. It's supposed to be iPad added to MacOS.

  12. Jeff Davis
    Jeff Davis says:

    I’ve been riding the beta waves since They first started coming out. When upgrading to the official Catalina release and also iOS 13 on my iPad Pro, honestly I’ve been pretty disappointed. It seems like most of it still does not work like it should even after all of the Beta updates

  13. maeve99
    maeve99 says:

    I was really looking forward to this new feature. I might even consider getting a macbook for this – if they'll fix the issues. rightclick + double click needs to work and the pen sensitivity issue needs to get fixed, Those things are definitely dealbreakers for me atm.


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