Delivered at the start of the week, this major version of Apple’s OS still lacks the Universal Control feature, the demonstration of which had created many expectations.
After four months and 12 beta tests, Apple launched MacOS 12 Monterey earlier this week, with a redesigned Safari browser, Focus modes and the Shortcuts app, along with a bunch of other features. But still no Universal Control, described by some as the best feature introduced by Apple for a long time. Indeed, among all the features unveiled at the last WWDC conference, the Universal Control function, which allows you to use the keyboard and the trackpad of the Mac to control a nearby iPad is the one that has aroused the most curiosity. No doubt that in the presence of a real audience, the demonstration of Craig Federighi would have aroused oohs, aahs of astonishment and a lot of applause. She even deserved a “Boom!” ”À la Steve Jobs!
Unfortunately, there is still no trace of Universal Control in the final version of the OS. The only new thing: Apple finally updated the Monterey website to say that the Universal Control function would be “available later this fall”, but without specifying the exact date. And even the developers have yet to see a trace of it either. Still, during the WWDC keynote, the feature seemed perfectly fine, despite apparently not being beta ready, as Apple delivers the public version of Monterey. This does not mean that the manufacturer will not be able to keep its delivery commitment in the fall. But this is not very reassuring.
An expected feature
Apple has not delivered such an interesting feature for Mac as Universal Control for a long time. A sort of extension of the Continuity and Handoff functions that connect the iPhone and the Mac, Universal Control changes the relationship between the Mac and the iPad by making the tablet not only a second screen like Sidecar, but a screen on which the user can point, drag, drop, as if the two screens became one. For example, with Universal Control, one can drag files from an iPad Air to the desktop of his Mac or from his Macbook to the Files application of the iPad while using the trackpad of the Macbook. This is just the kind of feature you never imagined you would need and can prove to be essential.
The Universal Control feature allows you to use a Mac’s mouse and keyboard to control an iPad. (Credit: Apple)
It will take a relatively newer Mac and iPad to use it, but it could be a game-changer in the relationship between iOS and MacOS. We have been waiting for years to see how Apple plans to go about merging its two systems, which seems inevitable, and Universal Access could be the first step in this merger. Fortunately, the feature still exists on the MacOS Monterey site, which is why we have no reason to believe Apple is going to give it up, as the AirPower did. And this delay is not sufficient to draw conclusions. Because there have already been precedents. Apple delayed its App Tracking Transparency privacy feature in iOS 14 to Revision 5 last year, and it wasn’t until iOS 12.1 that Group FaceTime appeared. For now though, it’s hard to greet MacOS Monterey with enthusiasm as long as it’s deprived of its best functionality.