macOS Monterey might debut without handy Universal Control feature

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Universal Control is part of macOS Monterey and iPadOS 15.
Working with multiple Macs and iPads get a lot easier with Universal Control.
Screenshot: Apple

Apple released the tenth and possibly final beta of macOS Monterey on Wednesday and it still doesn’t allow testers to try out Universal Control. Apple will either have to delay the introduction of one of the highlights of macOS 12 or release it without it having gone through the usual beta testing program.

Apple normally announces when the debut of a major feature has been delayed. But it has not done so with Universal Control.

Universal Control still AWOL from macOS Monterey beta 10

Universal Control, which was shown off at WWDC in June, will enable a single keyboard to control both a Mac and an iPad, allowing users to easily jump between them. But it’s possible many people have forgotten about it. Apple made a big deal of the upcoming macOS 12 feature at the WWDC Developers Conference in June then has never mentioned it again.

Most notably, the feature hasn’t appeared in any of macOS Monterey betas. That includes the one released Wednesday. And Beta 10 has a build number that ends in “a,” a strong sign that the full launch is coming very soon.

There is some code for Universal Control in Monterey but it’s hidden and takes some finagling to find. Developer Marius Fanu reports via Twitter, “Some of the Universal Control settings are here in macOS Monterey beta 10, but I can’t toggle them yet.”

Perhaps a public beta?

A possible answer is that Universal Control will debut in macOS 12.1. But that doesn’t explain why Apple hasn’t announced that. It told the world when it pushed back the release of SharePlay, for example.

The settings Fanu found are labeled “beta.” It’s possible Apple won‘t follow its usual testing strategy and macOS Monterey will launch with Universal Control included but labeled a beta feature. But that would be very unusual.

More about Universal Control

Think of Universal Control as a successor to Continuity, only more so. With it, 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.”