Avoid social isolation and join our #coronadiary movement

Use an iPad Pro as an external display via USB

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I've been using my iPad as an external display, over WiFi, ever since I learned it was possible. It's very easy to set up, and assuming you have a reliable wireless connection to pass data to and fro' the computer, it works seamlessly.

If your WiFi connection is not that great, you might experience lags and that can quickly become annoying. I've experienced it a couple of times and it is frustrating to the point where you want to hit it with something 😅.

But now, during the coronavirus-induced social isolation I'm in an area where I don't have fixed Internet installed. I'm constrained by the capacity of my 4G wireless router, so I can't use WiFi since I don't want to overload my data plan — I need the extra "juice" for doing actual work.

And there's also the fact that when you use the setup via WiFi, your Internet connection becomes slow as hell.

What I never thought about was to look whether I could use my iPad as an external display, using an actual cable. That was until today when I plugged it into my computer to charge it and I saw the AirPlay icon on the top bar suddenly appear.

airpay icon enabled

So I turned to our good friend, the Internet, and sure enough it looks like I can use my iPad as a secondary display, via SideCar.

This is possible by using an original or compatible USB-C or USB-C to Lightning cable.

Fair enough! I went to AirPlay and clicked connect a couple of times but unfortunately all I kept seeing was this weird error: A miscellaneous error occurred (32002).

macos-catalina-sidecar-error-32002-miscellaneous-error-occurred

I'm not Walter, I just took this off the Internet since I'm not able to reproduce the error anymore.

I decided to go on Apple's SideCar documentation, the Apple Forums and to any site which is considered an authority on Apple stuff, to find out whether there was a solution to my problem.

Nada!

Many people had this issue, but none of them seemed to figure out a solution. I ended up reading entire threads from 2019 where everyone was either complaining, co-miserating or just resigning.

Until I found this thread on Reddit.

The funny thing is that I read it once or twice and was very tempted to close it, until I saw that there was actually a solution there.

So I took the gamble, went into /Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration, backed up NetworkInterfaces.plist and preferences.plist, removed them from the directory and restarted my computer.

And sure enough, I am writing this article in iA Writer on my iPad display, while keeping an eye on my LinkedIn posts, on my laptop's display.

I thought it would be useful to share this article here since many of us are working remotely right now, and could buy a compatible cable to "win" an extra display.

Onwards & upwards!

P.S. — HAVE YOU EARD ABOUT #CORONADIARY?

It's an initiative we put together to help people remain sane during this period of social isolation. If you'd like to learn more you can read the origin article — Starting the #CoronaDiary movement —, or submit your entry using this link, or the embedded form, below:

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