Nifty Universal Control still AWOL from macOS beta

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Universal Control is part of macOS Monterey and iPadOS 15.
Universal Control could be massive... if it ever gets added to macOS Monterey.
Screenshot: Apple

One of the highlights of macOS Monterey is Universal Control, which will let users easily jump between Mac and iPad. But there’s cause to question when the feature will become available because it isn’t in any pre-release version of the next Mac operating system, including the new beta 5.

Apple announced the feature two months ago and there’s no sign of it yet. There’s some irritation growing among Mac users about the delay.

A long wait for Universal Control in macOS Monterey

Apple took the wraps off macOS Monterey and Universal Control at the WWDC developers conference on June 7. It released the fifth beta of the operating system on August 11. Universal Control is not included.

But Apple isn’t necessarily running out of time. There’s no definite date when new macOS versions have to be released. While macOS Mojave debuted in September 2018, macOS Catalina came out in October of the following year, and macOS Big Sur debuted in November 2020.

So macOS Monterey could still be three months away, which would seem plenty of time for Universal Control to added to the next beta and tested by developers and users. That said, Apple didn’t add any other new features to the fifth beta. The only changes are bug fixes. It seems most of the work on Monterey is finished… except Universal Control is missing.

Where is it?

Mac users took to Twitter to air their ire about the lack of Universal Control in macOS Monterey beta 5.

But it’s probably too soon to compare the feature to AirPower, a product Apple announced but never released.

Some people have suggested that this feature will debut in a post-release update to macOS Monterey. What’s being worked on now is macOS 12 and Universal Control might appear in version 12.1 or later.

More about Universal Control

Think of the feature as a successor to Continuity, only more so. With the upcoming version, users can jump between a Mac and iPad by handing off from one to the other. That includes being able to click-and-drag a file off the edge of your Mac to an iPad next to it. You can also use it to hand off your mouse and keyboard control from one device to the next. It can even be done across multiple devices, so that you could move from a MacBook to iMac to iPad.

Apple suggests using it for “sketching a drawing with Apple Pencil on iPad and placing it into a Keynote slide on the Mac.”