Does Sidecar recognize the iPad Pro Magic Keyboard Trackpad in Big Sur?

Title says it all. Maddeningly, you can’t use a Magic Keyboard’s trackpad in Sidecar—at least on Catalina/iPadOS 14. The input just isn’t recognized in the Sidecar “desktop.”

If any brave soul out there is running Big Sur while owning an iPad Pro with the Magic Keyboard and happens to have the time to test this… let us know? I may be willing to switch to Big Sur if it works!

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Yep. The Magic Keyboard trackpad is recognized only for actions in the far left control panel (controlling what’s happening on the iPad screen – not the Sidecar window from macOS on the rest of the screen).

(iPadOS 14 beta 6 and Catalina 10.15.6)

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Dump Sidecar. Get Duet.

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Hey I don’t mind checking this for you, running big sur and ios14.

You just want me to hook up sidecar and check if the magic keyboard trackpad responds on the main system?

Exactly! That’d be great, thanks!

@tjluoma—I have a Duet dongle that only works in my MBP, sadly. Not that excited about getting another one for my Mac Mini. I found the Duet experience to be equivalent with Sidecar, though, so I’m hoping that Apple just gets this to work.

What is a “Duet Dongle”? Are you thinking of Luna Display?

They are similar programs so it would be easy to confuse / conflate them.

All Duet needs is a wired connection between your Mac and iPad, i.e. lightning or USB-C.

(Duet can also do wireless, with no dongle, but that requires an annual subscription. I use the wired connection because it’s a one-time purchase, and plugging the iPad in to the Mac also keeps it charged.)

IIRC the iOS Duet app is $10 and the Mac app is free.

D’oh, totally conflating the two. Sorry.

But yes, my goal is wireless access of the Mac via the iPad. And Sidecar works just fine for this except for the lack of Magic Keyboard trackpad interaction, which has to be a bug.

I’m double checking that Duet does this in Big Sur. Stay tuned…

UPDATE: It does not

The Magic Trackpad does not work reliably in Big Sur. I had to click 3+ times to get it recognized.

That may be a bug in Duet in Big Sur, of course, which may be fixed by the time of the public release, but right now it is not a useful alternative.

Sorry for not checking this sooner. Never assume with betas! (or any other time, for that matter.)

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Just checked on Mac mini running Big Sur with Sidecar on iPad iOS 14. Trackpad works fine on ipad screen but doesn’t carry over to the main system.

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Too bad. Such an odd thing to overlook. Many thanks!

Huh. It seems that this is really just a general issue with Sidecar. I just tried using a Bluetooth mouse to interact with the Mac via Sidecar on the iPad Pro, and it didn’t work, either.

The issue seems to be that the macOS component of Sidecar uses whatever input devices are connected to the Mac, not whatever is connected to the iPad. (Except the Pencil, apparently.) E.g., while my mouse is connected to the Mac, I can use it on the Mac desktop on the iPad freely.

This seems like a weird thing to overlook for Apple, so weird that it’s starting to seem intentional, not a bug. I guess they really want Sidecar to simply be a second display sitting next to your Mac, not a virtual desktop for the Mac.

For what it’s worth, I eventually sent Craig Federighi a note to ask about this, and he sent back a nice reply:

Thanks for note. While I can’t make any commitments to future functionality, I do really appreciated the feedback!

- craig


I’m guessing this feature hasn’t been added yet, but anybody able to check now that Big Sur and 14.2 are out? I don’t yet own a current Mac, so this really influences whether I go laptop or Mac Mini. (Or likely hold out for an M1 iMac).

Also - this might be a stupid question - but can you use a mouse or other pointing device thru the iPad? And does it recognize keyboard input at all?


I would love a test from someone on Big Sur and 14.2 already, too!

You can use any input device paired to the Mac with Sidecar. Not those paired with the iPad though.

Sidecar hasn’t worked for me at all since the upgrade :frowning:

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The iPad Pro Magic Trackpad does not work in Sidecar on Big Sur.

The iPad Pro Magic Keyboard does work to input text on the Mac