Hands-On With Universal Control in iPadOS 15.4 and macOS Monterey 12.3

Apple today released new developer betas of iPadOS 15.4 and macOS Monterey 12.3, and the updated software adds the long awaited and highly anticipated Universal Control feature. We tested out Universal Control, and even in an early beta form, Universal Control is an easy to use and convenient multi-device control option.

To use Universal Control, the iPadOS 15.4 beta and the macOS Monterey 12.3 beta must be installed on your iPad and Mac, respectively. When you update, the feature is enabled by default and should work automatically, but we did run into an issue where we needed to restart the Mac to get it to work.

Settings for Universal Control on the Mac can be found under Displays > Advanced if you want to turn it off for some reason or change the functionality, and on the ‌iPad‌, you can find the toggle under General > AirPlay & Handoff.

After updating, if you have a Mac and an ‌iPad‌ next to each other, or even multiple Macs and iPads, you can use the keyboard and cursor on one device across all of them. So, for example, if you have a MacBook Pro and an iPad Pro on your desk as we do in our video, the MacBook Pro’s trackpad can be used over on the ‌iPad‌ just by swiping across, as can the keyboard. The same is true of the ‌iPad‌ if you have a keyboard attached. Universal Control works between multiple iPads, multiple Macs, and between multiple Macs and iPads.

You can drag files from the Mac to the ‌iPad‌ and vice versa, but on ‌iPad‌, you will need to have the appropriate app open. So if you’re dragging a photo from Mac to ‌iPad‌, you need to open Photos — it can’t go on the Home screen. Trackpad gestures for Mac do not appear to work on the ‌iPad‌, which is also worth noting.

It’s an intuitive and simple-to-use feature because you can just swipe right over from one display to the next with no lag or other hindrances. You can use Universal Control on any Mac or ‌iPad‌ that’s signed into your iCloud account, and it’s a great example of an Apple feature that “just works.”

Have you tried out Universal Control? Let us know what you think in the comments.

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