Apple has done a lot to make its devices work well with one another. From iCloud to Sidecar, devices like your iPad and MacBook can be used in tandem pretty easily.
But a new feature in macOS Monterey is about to make using Apple devices together even easier. Universal Control will allow different Apple devices to share a single keyboard and mouse. Meaning you drag your cursor between your iPad and Mac.
How can that help you with your workflow? We’ll give you some ideas below, along with what sets Universal Control apart from Sidecar.
What Can You Do With Universal Control on a Mac and iPad?
As we said above, Universal Control lets you use a single keyboard and mouse with your iPad, MacBook, and/or iMac all at the same time.
No setup is required to get this started. The devices just need to be running the latest OS updates (once macOS Monterey and iPadOS 15 are available) and you’re good to go.
This means you can type and click around in any of the devices with the keyboard and mouse of your choice. This could be your MacBook’s built-in keyboard and trackpad or the wireless keyboard and mouse you use with your iMac.
It really depends on what keyboard and mouse you prefer to use. You can move between keyboards if you’d like even or use a trackpad and mouse at different moments. Whatever devices the keyboards and mice are linked to just need to be linked up to each other in Universal Control.
How Do You Use Universal Control?
Starting up Universal Control is incredibly simple. You just place your devices beside each other and move your cursor off the edge of one screen and onto the other.
When you’re first linking up devices in Universal Control, a bar appears on the second device’s screen indicating the cursor has been detected coming over. You simply keep moving your cursor to make it pop on the second device.
Once that bar has appeared once, you can move between the devices seamlessly for that entire work session. You’ll be able to type and click unimpeded as you move between your devices.
So with Universal Control, you can work on a Pages document on your MacBook and then head over to your iPad to grab a picture you drew there to include. You can also edit a video on your iMac and grab images and clips from your iPad and MacBook as you need them.
Universal Control doesn’t have to just be about moving files between your devices though. It can also be handy if you want to utilize multiple monitors. You can scroll through a script on one device while you put together a presentation on another, giving yourself a larger digital workspace.
Gestures on your MacBook trackpad will work on your iPad with Universal Control, too, as will keyboard shortcuts. So you can use different devices a little differently, and more in tandem than ever before too.
Universal Control vs. Sidecar
Universal Control is an exciting new feature, but it’s not the first one Apple has created to help Macs and iPads work as a single unit.
Apple’s Sidecar feature became available with macOS Big Sur and it allows users to send or drag over app windows from a Mac computer to an iPad. It basically lets an iPad become a second monitor to a Mac—but a monitor with a touch screen.
This allows some Mac apps to be used differently or more interactively when Sidecar is activated. It’s great for art applications on the Mac, particularly if a user has an Apple Pencil.
It also creates a larger digital workspace, like Universal Control does. You can use a MacBook’s trackpad and keyboard on an iPad when Sidecar is activated, too.
Sidecar, however, doesn’t let you use the trackpad and keyboard on iPad apps. It only works on Mac apps and windows you drag or send over to the iPad for usage there.
Sidecar opens as a separate app on your iPad. When you’re in the Sidecar app, your iPad is an extension of your Mac. When you exit or close it to use other apps, your iPad becomes a separate device again.
Universal Control bridges that device divide. It lets your Mac and iPad communicate, so you can use each device’s strengths and abilities simultaneously, rather than having to pick them each up in turn.
Simply put, SideCar is meant to be used when you want more screen space for your Mac, particularly on the go, or when you want to use a touch screen with Mac apps. Universal Control is meant to be used when you want to use iPad and Mac apps at the same time, and when you want to simplify sharing files between the devices.
Adding to Device Continuity
Universal Control is the latest feature in Apple’s long history of having its devices work together. It fills a niche that features like Sidecar and AirDrop file sharing haven’t quite covered yet, and it allows iPads and Macs to work together more seamlessly than ever.
We can’t wait to get macOS Monterey and iPadOS 15 on our devices so we can start using our devices simultaneously on all sorts of projects. We hope you’re excited too, and that Universal Control is as helpful to you as we expect it to be for us!
Author: Jessica Lanman
Source: Jessica Lanman.” Universal Control: Apple’s New Feature Seamlessly Links Your iPad and Mac Together”. Retrieved From https://www.makeuseof.com/universal-control-seamlessly-links-ipad-and-mac/
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