Apple Seeds First Public Beta of macOS Monterey With Universal Control

Apple today seeded the first beta of an upcoming macOS Monterey 12.3 update to its public beta testing group, with the new software coming one day after it was provided to developers.

macOS Monterey on MBP Feature
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 is the major new feature in macOS Monterey 12.3, and it is designed to allow multiple Macs and iPads to be controlled using a single mouse/trackpad and keyboard. If you have a MacBook Pro and an iPad Pro, for example, both devices can be controlled with the MacBook Pro's trackpad and keyboard or a keyboard attached to the iPad.

iPadOS 15.4 is required for ‌Universal Control‌ on the ‌iPad‌, and once the updates are installed on your devices, the feature just works as it is automatically enabled.

macOS Monterey also includes new Emoji 14 characters like melting face, biting lip, heart hands, and more, and plus it adds support for updating AirPods with a Mac. There's no official update interface, but your AirPods can receive firmware updates over-the-air when connected to a Mac, similar to how the update process works with an iPhone.

There are some under-the-hood changes too. Apple is removing Python 2 from macOS with macOS 12.3 after support was suspended in January 2020, and Apple is eliminating some kernel extensions used by Dropbox and OneDrive, necessitating software updates for those apps.

Related Forum: macOS Monterey

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Top Rated Comments

BWhaler Avatar
31 months ago
I'm really looking forward to this release. It feels like x.3 is the new launch version—it’s when the OS is stable and all the promised features are delivered.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Realityck Avatar
31 months ago
Don’t run URL uses a lot of memory (GBs) with Safari 15.4 on M1 macs. Use instead.
Don’t have safari technology preview installed before updating causes issues with Safari 15.4. It also not working with this beta it seems.

Normal use Safari 15.4 runs fine, except those two instance’s previously discussed.

The installer is about 5GB.

Added to release notes Jan 29

If your Mac currently has macOS Catalina installed, installing macOS Monterey 12.3 beta or macOS Big Sur 11.6.4 beta on a volume with FileVault enabled might cause a boot loop when attempting to log back into the previous volume. (88163545)
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
user_xyz Avatar
31 months ago
Needs more Pregnant Men emojis!! :p
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Realityck Avatar
31 months ago

I assume this only works with Apple Silicon and not older Intel based machines. Is that correct?

[HEADING=2]Compatible Macs include:[/HEADING]

* MacBook Pro (2016 and later)
* MacBook (2016 and later)
* MacBook Air (2018 and later)
* 21.5in iMac (2017 and later)
* 27in iMac (2015 and later)
* 24in iMac
* iMac Pro
* Mac mini (2018 and later)
* Mac Pro (2019)

[HEADING=2]Compatible iPads include:[/HEADING]

* iPad Pro
* iPad Air (3rd generation and later)
* iPad (6th generation and later)
* iPad mini (5th generation and later)

This means that if your Mac is from 2015 or earlier it's not a feature you will be able to enjoy (unless you have a 27in iMac from that era).
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
James_C Avatar
31 months ago
Just tried Universal control with iPad Pro and 16” M1 MacBook Pro. It’s been a while since Apple made my jaw drop, using the trackpad on the iPad is incredible, no discenable lag, entering text on the iPad is now a pleasure using the MacBook Pro keyboard. Seamlessly moving back and forward between the two screens. It’s been worth the wait for this feature.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
James_C Avatar
31 months ago

Can you use the iPads input device (the Apple Pencil) to do things on the Mac??

Or only the Macs input devices to do things on the iPad?
The Apple Pencil won't work on a Mac in Universal Control as the Pencil is constrained by the iPad display. If you have a Mouse or Trackpad attached to the iPad that should work (I have not tested though).

However Sidecar which is another technology Apple created before Universal control turns the iPad into a second display, and you should be able to use the Apple Pencil as a drawing tool on an App moved over to the iPad display from the Mac.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)