Last summer, the internet was abuzz with excitement over Apple's various WWDC announcements, which included an awesome crossover feature for iPadOS and MacOS. Universal Control ended up taking its sweet time to arrive, but the tech has finally landed – and Apple users are going wild for it.
The feature, which creates a bridge between Mac devices and iPads, is now available in the first public beta of macOS Monterey 12.3, and it's already blowing minds. The tool lets users control multiple devices with a single keyboard and mouse, and users are already describing the experience as "magic". (In the market for a new tablet? Check out the best drawing tablet deals.)
With Universal Control, users can move their cursor to the edge of a Mac display, and it will magically appear on the iPad – offering new levels of multitasking opportunities. For creatives looking for maximum screen real estate, Universal Control could be a game-changer – essentially turning their devices into multiple monitors.
Even though it's only out in beta right now, the tech is already a hit online. "This is ingeniously clever," one Reddit user comments, while another adds, "I let out a “holy cow” after using it with my Mac Mini and MacBook Pro together. It lives up to the hype and then some."
Holy wow Universal Control is incredible.This is me moving between a MacBook Pro, an iPad mini, and an iPad Pro using just the MacBook trackpad and keyboard. It's aware of position, lets you drag files, and supports iPadOS gestures.The hype was real and it all just works 🤯 pic.twitter.com/PWUTLYZtkWJanuary 27, 2022
So how do you use Universal Control? When Apple said "no setup required", it meant it. All you have to do is log in to the same iCloud account on each device, and make sure they're updated to the latest version (for now, you'll also need to be signed up for Apple's public beta programme (opens in new tab)). And that's all there is to it – place your iPad next to your Mac and try moving the cursor from one to the other. It's a great example of Apple's 'it just works' philosophy in practice.
While we're excited for all of Apple's rumoured new hardware (such as the iPhone 14 and 2022 MacBook Air), it's always nice when a simple software update arrives to breathe new life into our existing devices. If you want to get the most out of Universal Control, check out today's best M1 iPad and MacBook deals below.