Universal Control beta deep dive – tips and tricks, best practices, and more

By Jeff Benjamin

It’s one of the rare utilities that can both simplify and supercharge your desktop.

What is Universal Control? Universal Control, a feature previewed back at WWDC 2021, allows users to control multiple Macs or iPads from a single input source.

For example, you can initiate a Universal Control session from your MacBook Pro in order to control a nearby iPad using the same keyboard and trackpad on your laptop.

To use Universal Control, you’ll need at least one compatible Mac running the macOS 12.3 beta, along with another device — either a second Mac running the same beta, or an iPad running the iPadOS 15.4 beta.

Outside of a possible glitch or bug, you cannot use Universal Control without a primary Mac serving as host.

What Universal Control is not… Universal Control does not turn your iPad or extra Macs into external displays for your primary Mac. 

Instead, Universal Control allows you to control each separate device with the same mouse/trackpad and keyboard that you use on your main Mac.