Universal Control Works in macOS Monterey Beta 5, But Terminal Commands Required to Enable It
One of the most highly anticipated features coming to macOS Monterey and iPadOS 15 is Universal Control. Universal Control enables users to use a single Mac's input devices across multiple iPads or Macs.
While the feature was previewed at WWDC in June, it's yet to make an official appearance in any developer beta of macOS Monterey or iPadOS 15, leading to speculation that the feature may be delayed to a future update to the operating systems. However, in the latest macOS Monterey beta released on August 11, Universal Control can be enabled and used between two Macs.
To enable it, users will need to follow the steps outlined in this GitHub post, which requires running a series of Terminal lines, altering system settings, and running commands to enable "Ensemble," Apple's internal codename for Universal Control.
Universal Control is not yet officially enabled in the latest macOS beta, and the steps needed to enable it are complex. We don't advise users to attempt to enable it because it may damage crucial system files and their machines.
From MacRumors' testing of Universal Control, while it's not officially supported, the feature works as demoed at WWDC, with minimal lag and latency when switching between devices. Although, there are still some technical issues. For example, Universal Control in its final form will allow a user's Mac to seamlessly detect another Mac or iPad placed next to it, allowing users to move their mouse and keyboard between devices automatically.
In the latest beta, users must first select their accompanying Mac within System Preferences -> Displays -> Add Display, and select their device under "Link Mouse and Keyboard." Additionally, Universal Control will allow users to drag and drop files, photos, videos, and more between devices, which is not yet present in the latest beta. From our testing, despite Universal Control working between two Macs, iPadOS does not yet support the feature, even in the newest beta.
macOS Monterey beta five was released on August 11, while iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and watchOS 8 are already on their seventh round of developer betas. Apple has indicated that several iOS 15, macOS Monterey, and iPadOS 15 features, such as SharePlay, won't be available at launch. Apple has previously previewed features at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference in June, only to delay them until a subsequent update later on in the year.
On macOS Monterey and iPadOS 15's preview page, Apple has not yet indicated that Universal Control will be delayed, suggesting it intends to release it with the initial versions of its operating system this fall.