macOS Monterey might debut without handy Universal Control feature

Working with multiple Macs and iPads becomes much easier with Universal Control.
Screenshot: Apple

Apple on Wednesday released the tenth and possibly last beta of macOS Monterey, and it still does not allow testers to try Universal Control. Apple will either have to delay the introduction of one of the highlights in macOS 12 or release it without going through the usual beta testing program.

Apple usually 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, unveiled at WWDC in June, allows a single keyboard to control both a Mac and an iPad, allowing users to easily jump between them. But it is possible, many people have forgotten it. Apple did a great thing about the upcoming macOS 12 feature at the WWDC Developers Conference in June, and has never mentioned it again.

In particular, the feature has not appeared in any of the macOS Monterey betas. That includes the one that was released on Wednesday. And Beta 10 has a build number that ends with “a”, a strong sign that the full launch is coming very soon.

There’s a code for Universal Control in Monterey, but it’s hidden and takes a bit of fine-tuning to find. Developer Marius Fanu reports via Twitter, “Some of the Universal Control settings are here in macOS Monterey beta 10, but I can not change them yet.”

Some of the Universal Control settings are here in macOS Monterey beta 10, but I can not change them yet 🤷‍♂️🤞 https://t.co/1nEUphKfh2

Maybe a public beta?

One possible answer is that Universal Control debuts in macOS 12.1. But that does not explain why Apple has not announced it. It told the world when it e.g. Pushed the release of SharePlay back.

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

More about Universal Control

Think of Universal Control as a sequel to continuity, only more. With it, users can jump between a Mac and iPad by passing from one to the other. It includes being able to click and drag a file from the edge of your Mac to an iPad next to it. You can also use it to hand over your mouse and keyboard controls from one device to the next. It can even be done across multiple devices so you can move from a MacBook to iMac to iPad.

Apple suggests using it to “sketch a drawing with Apple Pencil on the iPad and place it in a Keynote slide on the Mac.”

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