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 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.

Top Rated Comments

turbineseaplane Avatar
11 months ago
I’m sure over the long haul it will be every bit as reliable as most Apple software that tries to interact across devices.

:cool::p

I can just hear tech-support now…

“are all 3 devices on at least version xx.xx?”
“Have you tried the betas to see if it fixes that?”
“Consider resetting your hardware”
“Have you logged out and back into iCloud?”
“Is Bluetooth on?”
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheYayAreaLiving ? Avatar
11 months ago
Based on the reviews it just looks incredible. The fact you can use iPad OS gesture is a big winner for me. Just amazing, and it was worth waiting for it.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
fernelius Avatar
11 months ago

Why do you need to be on iCloud? Will it only work with files that are on iCloud?

If so, it's useless to me.
I think the devices just need to be signed-in to the same iCloud account. This validates they belong to the same user and are reasonably entitled to access one another’s files, control, etc. I suspect (but haven’t installed to check) that files can be located locally, in iCloud, or in some other accessible location.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
exoticSpice Avatar
11 months ago

Well that pretty much kills the feature for me. Lovely!
This is a security feature, you don't want random people coming close and controlling your Mac/iPad and moving files over to their devices.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jclo Avatar
11 months ago

The article suggests this feature will work between two iPads without a Mac present. Is this true? This wasn’t what I understood from WWDC but would be great. I can have a book open on my iPad Mini alongside my iPad Pro 11 with two apps and be working from the Magic Keyboard with both!
I took this out of the article. We didn't test this specifically, so I'm not sure that's accurate. I'll test it and re-add if it's right, but otherwise, sorry for the confusion.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
walterpaisley Avatar
11 months ago
I just tried this across my MacBook Pro, Mini, and iPad and it worked seamlessly. I was even able to drag a file from my MBP across my Mini and drop it on my iPad and it transferred as expected. Very nice work.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

macOS Monterey on MBP Feature

Apple Seeds Fourth macOS Monterey 12.3 Beta to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]

Tuesday February 22, 2022 10:08 am PST by
Apple today seeded the fourth beta of an upcoming macOS macOS Monterey 12.3 update to developers for testing purposes, with the new software coming a week after the release of the third macOS Monterey 12.3 beta. Registered developers can download the beta through the Apple Developer Center and after the appropriate profile is installed, betas will be available through the Software Update...
macOS Monterey on MBP Feature

Apple Seeds Release Candidate Version macOS Monterey 12.3 Beta to Developers and Public Beta Testers

Tuesday March 8, 2022 11:23 am PST by
Apple today seeded the release candidate version of an upcoming macOS Monterey 12.3 update to developers for testing purposes, with the new software coming a week after the release of the fifth macOS Monterey 12.3 beta. The RC represents the final version of macOS Monterey 12.3 that will be released publicly next week. Registered developers can download the beta through the Apple Developer...
macOS Monterey on MBP Feature

Apple Releases macOS Monterey 12.3 With Universal Control, Spatial Audio Dynamic Head Tracking on M1 Macs and More

Monday March 14, 2022 9:44 am PDT by
Apple today released macOS Monterey 12.3, the third major update to the macOS Monterey operating system that launched in October 2021. macOS Monterey 12.3 comes more than a month after the launch of macOS 12.2, an update that addressed a Safari vulnerability. The ‌‌‌‌macOS Monterey‌ 12.3‌‌ update can be downloaded on all eligible Macs using the Software Update section of System ...
universal control wwdc

Apple Officially Delays macOS Monterey Universal Control Until Spring 2022

Monday December 13, 2021 10:55 am PST by
Apple has officially delayed Universal Control, a hallmark feature of macOS Monterey and iPadOS 15 announced in June, until Spring 2022. In an update to the iPadOS 15 and macOS Monterey feature pages, Apple now indicates that Universal Control will be "available this spring." Universal Control, which allows users to use one mouse and keyboard across all of their Macs and iPads, has been...
macOS Monterey 2

Apple Seeds Second Public Beta of macOS Monterey With Universal Control

Wednesday February 9, 2022 10:25 am PST by
Apple today seeded the second beta of an upcoming macOS Monterey 12.3 update to its public beta testing group, with the new software coming a week after the first macOS Monterey 12.3 public beta. Public beta testers can download the macOS 12.3 Monterey update from the Software Update section of the System Preferences app after installing the proper profile from Apple's beta software website. ...
universal control wwdc

Apple Says Universal Control Coming to macOS Monterey Later This Fall

Monday October 18, 2021 12:02 pm PDT by
In an update to the macOS Monterey features page on its website, Apple has indicated that the Universal Control feature previewed at WWDC 2021 will be available later this fall, which likely means it will be enabled in a future software update. It's not a surprise that Universal Control has been delayed beyond the initial release of macOS Monterey, which will be available Monday, October 25, ...
macos monterey universal control

Universal Control Not Coming in macOS Monterey 12.1 and iPadOS 15.2

Tuesday December 7, 2021 10:36 am PST by
Apple today seeded the release candidate versions of both iPadOS 15.2 and macOS Monterey 12.1, making it clear that the long awaited Universal Control feature is not coming in the software updates that are expected to launch sometime next week. There is no mention of Universal Control in the release notes for macOS Monterey 12.1 or iPadOS 15.2, and the feature has not been introduced in any...
macOS Monterey 2

Apple Seeds Third Public Beta of macOS Monterey With Universal Control

Wednesday February 16, 2022 10:30 am PST by
Apple today seeded the third beta of an upcoming macOS Monterey 12.3 update to its public beta testing group, with the new software coming a week after the second macOS Monterey 12.3 public beta. Public beta testers can download the macOS 12.3 Monterey update from the Software Update section of the System Preferences app after installing the proper profile from Apple's beta software website. ...

Popular Stories

maxresdefault

Can't Get an iPhone 14 Pro? Here's Why You Should Wait for the iPhone 15 Ultra

Monday December 5, 2022 11:44 am PST by
Due to production issues at Apple supplier factories in China, the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max are backordered and basically out of stock at every store. If you were planning to gift or receive an iPhone 14 Pro model for the holidays and didn't already get one, you're basically out of luck because they're gone until late December. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more ...
Apple advanced security Advanced Data Protection screen Feature

FBI Calls End-to-End Encryption 'Deeply Concerning' as Privacy Groups Hail Apple's Advanced Data Protection as a Victory for Users

Thursday December 8, 2022 2:45 am PST by
Apple yesterday announced that end-to-end encryption is coming to even more sensitive types of iCloud data, including device backups, messages, photos, and more, meeting the longstanding demand of both users and privacy groups who have rallied for the company to take the significant step forward in user privacy. iCloud end-to-end encryption, or what Apple calls "Advanced Data Protection,"...
General iOS 16 Feature Yellow

iOS 16.2 for iPhone Launching This Month With These 8 New Features

Thursday December 1, 2022 8:44 am PST by
Apple plans to publicly release iOS 16.2 for the iPhone in mid-December, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. The update remains in beta testing for now, with at least eight new features and changes already uncovered so far. iOS 16.2 introduces a number of new features, including Apple's new whiteboard app Freeform, two new Lock Screen widgets for Sleep and Medications, the ability to hide...
maxresdefault

Hands-On With Apple Music Sing in iOS 16.2

Wednesday December 7, 2022 12:24 pm PST by
With the iOS 16.2 release candidate that came out today, Apple added the new Apple Music Sing feature that was announced earlier this week. We thought we'd check out the new karaoke feature to see how it works. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Apple Music Sing is available on modern iPhones and iPads, as well as the newest Apple TV 4K. It's built in to the Apple...
Apple car wheel icon feature yellow

Apple to Charge Under $100,000 for Apple Car, Launch Planned for 2026

Tuesday December 6, 2022 2:31 pm PST by
Apple is aiming to launch an Apple-branded consumer-oriented vehicle by 2026, and its goal is to hit a price point under $100,000 to make the car appeal to a wider range of customers, reports Bloomberg. Apple initially planned to design a car that might look similar to Canoo's Lifestyle Vehicle, where passengers could face one another in a limousine-style car with no steering wheel or...
General iOS 16 Feature Yellow

iOS 16.2 for iPhone Expected to Launch Next Week With These 12 New Features

Thursday December 8, 2022 7:05 am PST by
iOS 16.2 is expected to be released next week following nearly two months of beta testing. With last-minute additions like Apple Music Sing and Advanced Data Protection, the software update now has over a dozen new features for the iPhone. Below, we've recapped many of the new features coming with iOS 16.2, including Apple's new whiteboard app Freeform, two new Lock Screen widgets, the...
introducing apple music sing

Apple Music Adding a Karaoke Experience With Apple Music Sing

Tuesday December 6, 2022 7:09 am PST by
Apple today announced Apple Music Sing, a new feature in Apple Music that lets users sing their favorite songs with adjustable vocals and more. Apple Music Sing will utilize Apple Music's real-time lyrics to allow users to sing to their favorite songs using adjustable vocals, background vocals, and duet view to allow more than one singer.Apple Music Sing includes: Adjustable vocals: Users...
Twitter Feature

Twitter to Charge $11 Per Month for Twitter Blue on iPhone, $7 on Website

Wednesday December 7, 2022 6:47 pm PST by
Twitter plans to charge $11 per month for a Twitter Blue subscription on the iPhone in order to account for the 30 percent cut that Apple takes from in-app purchases, reports The Information. On the web, Twitter Blue will be priced at $7 per month. Prior to when Twitter Blue was paused, Twitter was charging $7.99 for a subscription, but the pricing will change before it relaunches. According ...
Apple advanced security Advanced Data Protection screen Feature

Apple Announces End-to-End Encryption Option for iCloud Photos, Notes, Backups, and More

Wednesday December 7, 2022 10:00 am PST by
Apple today announced it is expanding end-to-end encryption to many additional iCloud data categories on an opt-in basis for enhanced security. iCloud already protects 14 data categories using end-to-end encryption by default, including the Messages app when backups are disabled, passwords stored in iCloud Keychain, Health data, Apple Maps search history, Apple Card transactions, and more,...