Today during the WWDC conference, Apple unveiled the new macOS 12 Monterey. A key feature in the macOS update is Universal Controls, which is based on Continuity features first introduced in OS X Yosemite. For years, it’s been possible to open a news article on your iPhone and continue reading it on your MacBook, or copy and paste a link from your iPad to your iMac. But Universal Control takes these features even further.
With Universal Controls, you can use a single mouse and keyboard to navigate multiple Apple devices at once. This functionality works on more than two devices – in the demo video, the feature is used to seamlessly transfer to iPad, MacBook and iMac. Users can drag and drop files across multiple devices at once, for example, making it possible to use a multi-screen setup when editing videos on Final Cut Pro.
What’s possible with Universal Control isn’t necessarily new – it’s already been possible through third party apps. Also, in 2019, Apple introduced Sidecar, which allowed users to connect their iPad as a second monitor to their MacBook or iMac. But, Universal Control on the Sidecar improves — and perhaps makes it obsolete — allowing users to pair any Apple device at once, even if it’s not an iPad. While this update may not be unprecedented, it is a useful upgrade to existing features.