WWDC: Universal Control on the Mac and iPad explained

I’ve always found it frustrating that I’ve been unable to use the same mouse and keyboard to control both computers when working across an iPad and a Mac simultaneously. Soon, I’ll be able to do precisely that thanks to a new feature called Universal Control, which Apple introduced this week at WWDC 2021.

What is Universal Control?

Universal Control lets you use your keyboard, mouse, and trackpad across all your devices. If you want to use the trackpad on your MacBook Pro to control what you do on your iPad, or even on another Mac, Universal Control is for you. And Apple says it has designed the feature to be easy to setup.

What happens?

When you use Universal Control, you’ll be able to slide your cursor left or right (but only horizontally) between your devices. You will see a Mac cursor on the screen of your Mac, and the iPad round dot cursor as you move to that device.

What can you do?

Anything you already use your mouse, trackpad, and keyboard for will work across all your devices using Universal Control.

Just get your cursor to the relevant device to get started. You can even drag and drop items such as documents, images, or media between devices – just select it on your iPad and drag it over to your Mac. This could be useful when sketching, designing, planning, or otherwise getting things done.

The expectation is that any application that currently supports Handoff will work with Universal Control. (I’ve not yet been able to test this, but I do hope this largesse extends to Office apps.)

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

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