Last Updated on Jul 16, 2021
Apple has introduced a new feature in Mac OS Monterey that will use Apple devices together in an even more straightforward process than before. This feature named Universal Control will enable different Apple devices to use a single keyboard and mouse. It means that users can drag their cursor between their iPad and Mac. In addition, the feature lets users use a single keyboard and mouse with their iPad, MacBook, and iMac all at the same time. It is the latest feature in Apple’s long history of creating devices that work together.
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The devices need to be running the latest Operating System updates, and no setup is required. Before start, Check Universal Control System Requirements and Supported Devices and MacOS/iPadOS. Users can type and click around on any of the devices with a keyboard and mouse. It could be Mac’s built-in keyboard and trackpad or the wireless keyboard, or the mouse users use with their iMac.
How to use Universal Control?
Using the Universal Control feature is extremely simple. One needs to place devices beside each other and move their cursor off the edge of one screen and onto the other.
When the devices are linked together for the first time in Universal Control, a proper bar shows up in the second device’s screen highlighting that the cursor has been detected. One needs to keep moving their cursor to make it pop on the second device.
Universal Control is not just limited to moving files between different devices. It can also be used to utilize multiple monitors. For instance, a user can scroll through a script on one device while on the other, they can put together a presentation.
Also Helpful: Universal Control v/s Handoff v/s AirDrop
Universal Control v/s Sidecar
Universal Control set to be launched with Mac OS Monterey is an exciting new feature. But it is not the first time that Apple has such a feature. Apple has a significant history of creating devices that allow iPads and Macs to work together more seamlessly than ever.
Here’s the settings for Universal control, Apple Logo from top Mac menu > System Preferences > Display > Advanced > Select Options,
- Allow your cursor and keyboard to move between any nearby Mac or iPad
- Your cursor and keyboard can be used on any nearby Mac or iPad signed in to your iCloud account.
- Push through the edge of a display to connect a nearby Mac or iPad
- Allow the cursor to connect to a nearby Mac or iPad by pushing against the edge of a display.
Apple’s previous feature, Sidecar, which was available with Mac OS Big Sur, allowed users to turn an iPad into a secondary display that works with their Mac. In addition, it allowed users to use their iPad as a second monitor. Users can send or drag app windows from a Mac computer to an iPad. It can be done either via a wired connection or wirelessly.
Sidecar does not let users operate the trackpad and keyboard on iPad apps. It works only on Mac apps and windows. When a user is operating the Sidecar feature, their iPad acts as an extension of their Mac. However, when the user closes or exits the feature, their iPad becomes a separate device.
The new feature Universal Control bridges this device divide. It lets the Mac and iPad communicate. And users can use each device’s endurance and proficiency simultaneously.
Universal Control is applicable for use when users want to use iPad and Mac apps simultaneously and when they want to simplify the process of sharing files between the devices. It is an improvement over Sidecar that lets users have more screen space for their Mac, especially when they want to use a touch screen with Mac apps.
Universal Control allows users to use both a Mac and iPad as linked devices without switching input devices. It also allows an iPad to be used as a second display. In addition, Universal Control maintains each connected device’s displays and content access, which adds a layer of usability to a workflow based around Apple devices.
It appears that the two features, Universal Control and Sidecar, achieve different things and are complementary to each other. For instance, Universal Control allows users to use their keyboard and mouse to control iPad OS. On the other hand, Sidecar extends the Mac screen onto the iPad as if it were another monitor.