Believed to be one of Apple’s most impressive features we’ve seen in years, the much-anticipated Universal Control feature was first revealed at WWDC 2021 and thanks to the latest iPadOS 15.4 and macOS 12.3 update, it is finally here!
For those who don’t know, the Universal Control feature allows you to use your Mac’s keyboard and mouse to control an iPad wirelessly, with the added bonus of dragging and dropping files between the two devices. All you need to do is an initial setup and it’ll work like magic!
Pairing Your Mac and iPad
First things first, ensure that Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Handoff are all switched on, then head over to the Display pane in System Preferences and select Add Display to select your iPad. Universal Control will be switched on automatically once the setup has been complete, and there are different customisation settings you can find by selecting the Universal Control button.
Once you’ve set up your devices, all you need to do is bring your iPad close to your Mac (within Bluetooth range) and move your mouse cursor past the edge of the display. Look out for a bar that will appear on the edge of the iPad’s screen, move your cursor past the edge and there you have it, you’ve successfully used your iPad via your Mac’s cursor!
You should be able to move effortlessly between the two after the initial setup is complete and the sidebar will eventually disappear too.
How To Disconnect and Reconnect Your Devices
When in doubt, just click on the Universal Control icon in the iPad’s Dock and your device will automatically reconnect to your Mac. Turning on the “Automatically reconnect to any nearby Mac or iPad.” setting will also allow you to reconnect your devices automatically after a device has been switched off.
Using Your iPad with Universal Control
The touch functionality of the iPad still works and is essentially the same experience as using a Magic Keyboard with an iPad Pro. A dot represents the cursor you are controlling with the Mac’s trackpad and changes between darker and lighter colours depending on what it is moving over.
Apple is still working on perfecting The Universal Control feature as it is still in beta phase, but from what we’ve seen, things are looking good!