Luna Display to Stick Around Despite New Sidecar Feature in macOS Catalina

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macOS Catalina introduces Sidecar, a native feature that turns the iPad into a secondary display for the Mac. It's a useful function that works well, but it's also something that third-party companies have been doing for several years now.

One of those companies makes the Luna Display, a hardware-based dongle that plugs into the Mac to turn the iPad into a secondary display. According to Luna Display's founders, though Sidecar offers similar connected technology, the Luna Display is sticking around.


"We're not going anywhere," wrote CEO Matt Ronge and Head of Product Giovanni Donelli in a blog post shared this afternoon. The two go on to explain that while they're disappointed in Apple's decision, they plan to continue to cater to creative professionals.
We've spent the last five years building innovative products like Astropad and Luna Display that cater to true creative professionals. Our team has always doubled-down on delivering deep customization and low-latency input. Why? Because that's user-driven and that's what we do.

If you have basic needs, Apple's Sidecar may do the trick. But if you're a pro, we've built Luna Display to fit around your creative workflow.

We know that creative pros have highly-individualized and unique ways of working productively. Whether you need to collaborate with multiple users, or take advantage of the Mac mini's portability by setting your iPad as the main display -- Luna offers the freedom and flexibility to build a connected workspace around your needs, so you can be productive anywhere.
Luna Display's founders are also planning to expand to new platforms and see a "bright future" in Windows.

The Luna Display adapter has been around since it launched as a Kickstarter project in 2017, and before that, Astropad, an iOS and Mac app that offers Sidecar-like functionality, was available for using an iPad or iPhone as a secondary display for a Mac.

Sidecar is available in macOS Catalina and it takes just a few clicks to turn an iPad into a secondary display. Sidecar does have its limitations, though, and is only available on newer Macs from 2015/2016 and later.

Article Link: Luna Display to Stick Around Despite New Sidecar Feature in macOS Catalina
 

LordCoe13

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Sep 9, 2014
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Luna Display's founders are also planning to expand to new platforms and see a "bright future" in Windows.
This will be the case for both Duet Display and Luna Display. Luna Display has been amazing for me thus far and depending on compatibility of Mac models, it seems this may not be that big of an issue (for the short term, at least). By the time it becomes an issue for Mac, both companies will already be expanded in the PC market.
 

BootsWalking

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Feb 1, 2014
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I hope they're able to tough it out. They have an innovative product and my heart goes out to any engineering firm that gets Sherlocked like this. With the ingenuity they exhibited with Luna I'm sure they'll be able to come up with other winning products to replace the revenue lost on Luna.
 

code-m

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Apr 13, 2006
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This will be the case for both Duet Display and Luna Display. Luna Display has been amazing for me thus far and depending on compatibility of Mac models, it seems this may not be that big of an issue (for the short term, at least). By the time it becomes an issue for Mac, both companies will already be expanded in the PC market.
Until Microsoft introduces a similar feature/function :eek::p
 

Quu

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Apr 2, 2007
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Writing is on the wall for them now. As good as their product is, people will be reluctant to purchase it when its main utility is built in to macOS for free. Apple did this to many other pieces of software they integrated over the years.
 

ZMacintosh

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Nov 13, 2008
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its more surprising that Apple did not do this years ago anyway. People still buy Wacom accessories for portable and desktop drawing, though they're products are not entirely modern or consistently functional they have granularity that the iPad and Apple pencil do not have. Until they are able to bring things like their Wacom Pro Pen to iPad (ala the XBOX and PS4 controllers), they're not going anywhere either.

Luna can potentially make accessories that will benefit their product and/or sidecar, such as more granular pens or other things.
 

cppguy

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Apr 6, 2009
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Astropad is so much more than screen mirroring, the subscription version has a productivity toolbar, so you can work with Illustrator and Photoshop from your lap, and a preview button that simulates hovering the pencil, which you can do in a Wacom, but not normally with the Apple pencil. While the average person will be very happy with Sidecar, and they'll no longer buy the basic Astropad anymore, most artists will only be happy with Luna Display, to be honest.
 

rubberfish

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Apr 26, 2014
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I thought Astropad was great. I bought a Luna display dongle but I’ve only used a few times. At home it’s fine, but in the office on a slow WiFi connection it’s unusable without plugging in the lightning cable too, which then uses too many usb c ports. It also doesn’t include pressure sensitivity without a subscription. Very disappointed. If sidecar matches or exceeds luna then I’m afraid it’s curtains for Astropad. That, and adobe are bringing FULL photoshop to iPad soon anyway.
 

Rique

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Mar 31, 2011
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Given Sidecar only works on a limited set of apps and Apple hardware, they will be good for a while.

Only works with the following Macs.
  • 27-inch iMac (Late 2015 or newer)
  • iMac Pro
  • MacBook Pro (2016 or newer)
  • MacBook Air (2018)
  • 12-inch MacBook (early 2016 or newer)
  • Mac mini (2018)
  • Mac Pro (2019)
I think the operative word "currently" should be inserted. Sidecar only currently works on a limited set of apps and Apple hardware. Given that Catalina is currently in preview, restricted to developers, I think it is probably premature to conclude that's the final list of supported hardware. I'm skeptical it will be that restricted.
 

aevan

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I think the operative word "currently" should be inserted. Sidecar only currently works on a limited set of apps and Apple hardware. Given that Catalina is currently in preview, restricted to developers, I think it is probably premature to conclude that's the final list of supported hardware. I'm skeptical it will be that restricted.
It seems to be using HEVC which requires at least Skylake CPUs.
 

TMRJIJ

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Dec 12, 2011
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They definitely need to be on their toes now. While their business is still good considering Apple’s solution only works for Macs with HEVC encoding Hardware, it will start to shrink as people upgrade their Macs or buy new ones.
 
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anshuvorty

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The author should update the article to note that with a little terminal hack, courtesy of Steven Troughton-Smith, even older Macs can use the sidecar feature. MR even mentioned this in their dedicated Sidecar article that was posted earlier today:

Screen Shot 2019-06-06 at 2.17.43 PM.png
 
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nutmac

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has decided to dabble in the connected workspace domain that we know super well. You’ve also likely seen the headlines about Apple’s power over small developers and how the tech-giant 'sherlocks' top-grossing apps. We’re disappointed, but let it be known:
While I sympathize with being Sherlocked, Apple replicating some of Luna's features without requiring customers to buy a new hardware is a good thing. And I frankly wouldn't call Luna one of "top grossing apps" nor do I think Apple intentionally chooses to Sherlock "top grossing apps".

One thing that stopped me from buying Luna is that I cannot use Luna and charge iPad at the same time. For all I know I can use a hub, but Luna does not support using the hub so I never bothered.

Their blog also does a poor job explaining why Luna is better than Sidecar:
Whether you need to collaborate with multiple users, or take advantage of the Mac mini's portability by setting your iPad as the main display — Luna offers the freedom and flexibility to build a connected workspace around your needs, so you can be productive anywhere.
This paragraph fails to point out one of the key limitations of Sidecar. In order to use iPad as a monitor for the Mac, you need to initiate it from the Mac.

Also, with macOS Catalina not working with 32-bit apps, I suspect non trivial percentage of users won't upgrade until their 32-bit apps are either updated or can be replaced with another app.
 
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SteveJUAE

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Until Microsoft introduces a similar feature/function :eek::p
Ipad is a bit superfluous if you already have a touch enabled Win10 laptop :)

There has been synergy app around for a long time that works across platforms (not mobile os) from a single KB/Mouse etc and supports drag and drop on many screens not just 2 and combinations of laptops/desktops
 
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