macOS Catalina’s coolest trick will disappoint some Mac owners

When Apple announced macOS Catalina at WWDC 2019 this week, some of the loudest whoops and hollers were reserved for the news an iPad could now be used to extend a Mac’s display.

The new Sidecar feature will allow an iPad to act a second display for a Mac and even enable Apple Pencil interaction, but according to reports, not all Macs are created equal in this regard.

A quick fumble in the macOS Catalina beta code reveals older Mac laptops and desktops may not to able to access the feature. Noted Apple developer Steve Troughton-Smith (via MacRumors) found that, at this stage, only certain Macs are compatible with Sidecar.

They are as follows:

Late 2015 27″ iMac or newer
2017 iMac Pro
Mid 2016 MacBook Pro or newer
Late 2018 Mac mini or newer
Late 2018 MacBook Air or newer
Early 2016 MacBook or newer
2019 Mac Pro

According to Troughton-Smith a large number of Macs have been actively blacklisted when it comes to Sidecar. They include a number of iMacs, MacBook Pros, MacBook Airs and Mac minis released before those listed above.

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That doesn’t mean it’s guaranteed they won’t be enabled at point before the consumer release of Catalina, but it’s not looking good.

Couple this with the news iPad owners need a tablet compatible with the new iPadOS, then there might be a few disappointed people who were hoping to use Sidecar who won’t be able to without a hardware upgrade. iPadOS is compatible with the iPad Air 2 and later, the iPad mini 4 and later, 5th-generation iPad and later, and any iPad Pro.

Elsewhere in macOS Catalina, Apple is introducing the ability for developers to port over their iPad apps,  breaking up iTunes into individual Music, Podcasts and TV apps, while introducing an improved Find My MacBook feature, among other new additions.

The macOS Catalina software will be out this coming autumn, alongside iPadOS, iOS 13, tvOS13 and watchOS 6. Expect the public beta for all of the above in the next few weeks, if you fancy come early access.

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