Technophile

Everything in sync with Universal Control

Kishore Bhargava | Updated on: Feb 02, 2022

Use a single keyboard and mouse to control multiple Apple devices

One keyboard to rule them all; one mouse to rule them all — Apple is slowly and surely getting there.

When MacOS Monterey was announced earlier in June 2021, it announced a feature called “Universal Control”. The concept was simple and in demos, it looked too good to be true. When the early versions of Monterey came out, the feature was not included. It finally came to life in the most recent beta versions of MacOS 12.3 and iPadOS 15.4.

So what exactly is Universal Control? It is the ability to use a single keyboard and mouse to control multiple devices. If a Mac and an iPad are signed into the same Apple ID, then all you need to do is move your cursor to the edge of the Mac screen, keep going, and the cursor will magically appear on the iPad. You can glide between the two devices using just the single keyboard and touchpad of the Mac.

Smooth functioning

For those users who have multiple machines on their desks and consequently multiple input devices, this is truly a godsend. It works with an external keyboard and mouse as well.

It was rather smooth for a beta version. Enough for me to remove my Magic Keyboard from the iPad and have it just propped up on a stand, or use the standard cover and have it sitting next to my MacBook. No setup was required on either device and since both devices are usually signed into the same Apple account, it just worked!

Some users complained that they were not able to get it working the first time round, but the usual checks of ensuring that both devices are on the same Wi-Fi network and also have Bluetooth enabled does help.

What works? Well, everything. I was able to move over to the iPad from the Mac and launch apps, scroll pages on the browsers, use gestures for multi-tasking and app-switching and, best of all, one can even drag and drop files from the Mac into the Files app on the iPad. While I have been using this only for a few hours, I can see that this is something that I will continue to use. It was great to not have to touch my iPad for any work and yet be able to do everything that I needed to on it. Also, my iPad is so much lighter without the Magic Keyboard. The keyboard is now reserved for travel and meetings. While at home, Universal Control is what I will use.

I might have to invest in an external keyboard and mouse and add another machine to the mix as I have been planning. Maybe, the new Mac mini.

Published on February 02, 2022
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